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HomeNewsUproar Over 12 Abductions Reported During Anti-Finance Bill Protests

Uproar Over 12 Abductions Reported During Anti-Finance Bill Protests

The group noted that the abductions, which they reported to be 12 in number, had occurred over the last few days and intensified on Monday night, June 24.

The Police Reforms Working Group Kenya (PRWG-K) has condemned the recent wave of abductions of citizens suspected of involvement in the anti-Finance Bill protests. This comes amidst the alleged abduction of Gabriel Oguda, a vocal social media activist and policy analyst in the office of the National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi.

In a statement, the group noted that the abductions, which they reported to be 12 in number, had occurred over the last few days and intensified on Monday night, June 24.

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Other X users who are suspected to have been abducted include; Drey Mwangi, TemperCR7, Harriet, Shad, Franje, Worldsmith, and Hilla254. 

“These 12 abductions, which occurred over the last five days and intensified last night, are a gross violation of human rights and amount to arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearance as prohibited under Article 29 of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010,” the statement read in part.

“Enforced disappearance, as defined by Article 29 of the Constitution, involves the arrest, detention, or abduction of an individual by state agents or persons acting with state authorization, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the person’s fate or whereabouts.”

Collage of Shad Khalif being abducted by unknown individuals on June 23, 2024. /VIRAL TEA KE

The group further stated that such practices are a grave violation of human rights and international law and that it was unacceptable that individuals exercising their democratic rights to peaceful assembly and expression are being forcibly disappeared. 

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Furthermore, the actions undermine the rule of law and instil fear and uncertainty among the populace. The group thus urged the government to immediately cease these unlawful practices and release all individuals who have been arbitrarily detained.

“We strongly call on President William Samoei Ruto to uphold the oath he took during his swearing-in ceremony: “I, William Samoei Ruto, in full realization of the high calling I assume as President of Kenya, do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Republic of Kenya, that I will obey, preserve, and protect this Constitution of Kenya.” It is imperative that the government honours its promise to protect the rights of its citizens and ensures that such violations are not repeated,” added the statement.

PRWG-K reaffirmed its commitment to advocating for justice and accountability and revealed that it stands ready to support the victims of these abductions and their families through legal assistance, medical care, and psychological support.

“We will continue to monitor the situation closely and document any further human rights abuses. We remind the government that the Kenyan Constitution guarantees the right to liberty and security and prohibits any form of arbitrary arrest and detention. It is the duty of the state to protect these rights and ensure that all individuals are treated with dignity and respect,” added the statement.

For further assistance, or to report human rights violations, Kenyans were advised to call the following helplines: IMLU at 0800-721-401, Defenders Coalition at 0716-200-100, WhatsApp at Amnesty International Kenya at 0759-463-346, Wangu Kanja Foundation at 1519, International Justice Mission (IJM) 0717- 723-004, and FIDA Kenya 0800-720-501.

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Meanwhile, Speaker Moses Wetangula directed Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah to urgently liaise with Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome to ascertain Oguda’s whereabouts.

“I will direct the Majority Leader to get in touch with the IG and find out about the officer working at the Minority Leader’s office and report back,” directed Wetangula.

Wetangula’s directive came amid mounting pressure from the opposition, demanding immediate action and accountability. “Your staff will be protected under my watch. But we will not protect those who have broken the law,” stated Wetangula.

Social media activist, Gabriel Oguda. /FILE

According to Wandayi, Oguda was forcibly taken from his home in the early hours of Tuesday, June 25. The activist managed to make a distress call to Wandayi at 2:20 am, reporting that police officers were breaking into his compound.

“He called me under great distress, indicating that men he identified as police were forcefully entering his home. Ten minutes later, my phone was jammed, and I was unable to reach him,” Wandayi recounted.

This has left Wandayi and his colleagues deeply troubled, as efforts to locate Oguda in various police stations across Nairobi have proven futile.



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