11 February 2019

Kenya: Human Rights Defenders to Hold Vigil for Missing Colleague

Photo: Nairobi News
Caroline Mwatha Ochieng, a founder member of Dandora Community Justice Centre. She has been reported missing.

Dandora community will Monday hold a vigil for Caroline Mwatha, a human right defender who has been missing since Wednesday last week.

The event that is organised by Dandora Justice Center, Amnesty International and the grassroots community will start at 4pm and end at 9pm.

Those attending the vigil have been asked to carry a candle for the vigil that will be held at the Dandora Justice Center.

Ms Mwatha's father Mr Stanislas Mbai told Nairobi News that the family has been to the Kenyatta National Hospital, Mama Lucy Hospital, Dandora hospitals and even city mortuaries in search of her with no success.

SEARCH IN MORTUARIES

"We are still hopeful we will find her alive because we have been to hospitals and mortuaries around Nairobi but she is not there," said Mbai.

The police are also today expected to get a report from Safaricom on her call logs that will help them in tracing her.

Amnesty International has Kenya Police them to conduct a speedy and thorough investigation into the disappearance.

"Amnesty International Kenya calls upon the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the National Police Service to thoroughly investigate Carol's disappearance, establish her whereabouts and deliver her to her friends and family," executive director Irũngũ Houghton said in a statement.

EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS

Ms Mwatha is a founder member and caseworker with Dandora Community Social Justice Centre, and has been documenting extrajudicial killings.

Amnesty International now plans to discuss the protection and safety of human rights defenders in light of Caroline's disappearance.

According to the Centre coordinator Wilfred Olal, the activists and the police do not have a good relationship.

"When you are dealing with police killings, you target specific police officers and they have not been very kind to us. The killer cop has been issuing threats to us, including Caroline," he said.

Some of this activists have been in hiding since October last year for fear of the killer policemen.

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