Mar 05 2009

the Republic of Fear

Category: Uncategorized<ADMINNICENAME> @ 11:00 PM

The text message today from my associate in Nairobi alarmed me: “The country is in fear. Public transport is not working. This is worse, scarier than the post-election violence.”
Firoze Manji explains the latest twist in Kenya’s ongoing crisis:

"This evening, two leading human rights defenders, Mr. Oscar Kamau
King’ara and Mr. John Paul Oulu (also known as GPO), both of Oscar
Foundation, were executed in cold blood by a group of men in two
vehicles. The two were driving to meet Mr. Kamanda Mucheke of the
Kenya National Commission on Human Rights at his office. Eyewitnesses
have said that the assassins were policemen. In fact, the minibus
driver was in police uniform.

An eyewitness at the scene was also shot in the leg and was later
taken away from the scene by policemen. We are calling upon the police
to reveal the whereabouts of this man since he might be the only one
who can positively identify both the assassins and their vehicles.
Therefore, we fear for his life.

Oscar was a trained lawyer and a human rights advocate who was the
Chief Executive Officer of Oscar Foundation. He was a member of the
Law Society of Kenya.

Mr. GPO Oulu was a former student leader, and an educationist who has
worked for many human rights organizations, including the Youth
Agenda. He left the Youth Agenda recently to join the Oscar Foundation
as the Communications and Advocacy Officer.

Oscar Foundation is a registered charitable organization that offers
free legal services to the poor. Some of its major projects include
organizing caravans to offer free legal aid to the poor around the
country. They have a strong track record researching corruption in the
police force, the prisons, and police brutality against the urban
poor. The latest activity was researching and documenting cases of
enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings.

The Oscar Foundation has been a major source of information to
Parliament on atrocities playing out against the poor in the country.
On February 18, 2009, before Parliament debated the motion on extra-
Judicial killings, he presented Oscar Foundation’s findings on ongoing
extra judicial killings to Hon. Peter Mwathi, the motion’s mover.
Their last engagement with Parliament was a presentation to the Kioni
Committee investigating organized gangs a couple of days ago.

We believe they were killed because of the sensitive information they
had shared with both the Prof. Philip Alston the UN Special Rapporteur
on Human Rights, and with the MPs."

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