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Human rights defenders call for security from government

The National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders has called on the government to protect all human rights defenders including journalists in their daily routine of fighting for the rights of humankind.

Speaking outside the Meru law courts after attended the hearing of a case where a human rights activist from Isiolo Ms Elizabeth Ekaru was murdered in January 2022, the coalition’s Executive Director Mr Kamau Ngugi said there was need for government to ensure a conducive environment for these groups so that they can work without any fear.

“We are pleading with the government to protect human rights defenders as well as journalists and anyone else who advocates for people’s justice so they can do their work peacefully without any fear of intimidation whatsoever,” said Mr Ngugi.

He added that defending human rights as well as fighting for people’s justice has currently become a risky affair especially in Kenya despite the fact that it was enshrined in the constitution.

He however encouraged human rights groups and individuals in the country to work without fear and be vigilant to defend the rights of humankind as stipulated in Chapter four of the Kenyan constitution.

“It’s very painful to defend human rights when people in the society and some government agencies are up against you. We will however not lose hope since this is a cause worth fighting for,” said Mr Ngugi.

Ekaru was a celebrated outspoken human rights defender whose activities had won her a Head of State Commendation medal and other accolades, because of agitating for land rights of marginalized communities and a strong advocate for women empowerment, but her killing because of a land dispute left many in shock.

By Dickson Mwiti

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