A local human rights group has criticized Kenyan authorities over arrest of three nationals following protests in Nairobi over Uganda elections.
The three, Haki Africa Executive Director Hussein Khalid, Beatrice Waithera and Ojiro Odhiambo, were among Kenyans who had assembled outside Uganda House, along Kenyatta Avenue, Nairobi, on Wednesday morning to protest against political injustices in Uganda ahead of today’s General Election.
The three were arrested at around 10am and taken to Central Police Station.
In a statement, Defenders Coalition which is the National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders in Kenya termed the arrest and detention of the activists as unlawful.
According to the organisation, the arrest and detention of the three is a systematic plan by the state to intimidate, harass and frustrate activists in Kenya during this period of contested plans to change the constitution and upcoming elections in 2022.
“Human Rights Defenders had gathered for a press briefing to highlight the electoral injustices and police brutality happening in Uganda and to call on authorities in Uganda to respect international human rights law and the laws of Uganda for peaceful and conducive conduct of elections. Unfortunately, Kenya Police Officers descended on the activists and violently dispersed the group, ” the statement released on Wednesday reads.
“…Arresting peaceful Human Rights Defenders who were freely exercising their freedom of expression and assembly is a direct attack to the work of Human Rights Defenders.”
The three, the organisation said, were later freed on cash bail and are set to be arraigned in court to face charges of ”Unlawful assembly”.
“We call on all state bodies, including security agencies to respect the fundamental freedoms as stipulated in our supreme constitution, ” the organisation added.
Uganda goes to polls today amid a crackdown on the opposition and social media in the country by the President Yoweri Museveni regime.
Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine, who is seeking to unseat the president after 34 years in power, has borne the brunt of the state machinery since declaring interest in the top seat.
The Member of Parliament for Kyadondo County East constituency is running for presidency on National Unity Platform (NUP) party ticket.