Group seek solidarity for arrested activists in Kenya

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The International League of People Struggles (ILPS)-Kenya has called for global support for the arrested human rights defenders here last May 8. Twenty-seven members of the Mathare Social Justice Center were arrested after police raided its office.

The illegal arrests came after violent dispersals of protests by the urban poor against the illegal demolition of their communities in the guise of saving them from severe flooding.

“The events of May 8 in Mathare are a serious violation of human rights and a stark reminder of the systematic oppression suffered by poor communities,” according to ILPS. “Instead of addressing their grievances, their peaceful protest was attacked, tear-gassed and violently dispersed.”

The Mathare Social Justice Center is an organization based in Mathare, one of the largest urban poor communities in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. The institution fights for human rights, particularly of victims of extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances in Mathare. This April, it led the condemnation of the Kenyan state for its widespread demolition of houses in Mathare and other urban poor communities in the face of severe flooding in the country.

They say the government destroyed the livelihoods of millions of poor people, demolishing their houses without proper plans for relocation or land for the affected families. Thousands of Kenyans are now stuck in overcrowded evacuation centers, schools and churches with little or no basic facilities.

The institution condemned the criminal negligence of the Kenyan government, and its accomplices in subservience to the IMF and the World Bank. It says those in power have collectively violated the basic rights of Kenyans to decent housing, food, health services and potable water systems.

AB: Group seek solidarity for arrested activists in Kenya