Dear PWire community,

Today I got a note from Ann Njogu, a lawyer and fierce advocate for civil and women's rights in Kenya. She was arrested and badly attacked by police with others as they prepared a peaceful protest there. Her note is below. I am in touch with different groups including Human Rights Watch, World YWCA, Athena, ICW etc. and have developed a petition response. We're going to learn more and if it's right and helpful to the Kenyan women, will post that petition here in the coming days for you to add your voices.

For now, here is the word on the attacks, directly from Ann Njogu via private email:

The last couple of days have been a nightmare for me and several other civil rights activists who were arrested in a most brutal manner after police stormed the hotel we were in preparing to hold demonstrations over Grand Corruption ( Sale of the grand regency hotel by a cartel led by the finance Minister- who has since resigned in disgrace over the same) . But on Tuesday, 8th July, when they arrested seven of us, the police not only brutally arrested us but also sexually violated and harrased me and a male colleague . One senior officer even had the audacity to put his hand inside my trouser, fondle my private parts and my breasts all this while the rest were busy brutalising us. Upon arrival at the police station, my colleagues sort to know from the senior police officer why he had sexually assaulted me and without warning, this police officer, who we have since learnt was the deputy officer commanding Division, ( very senior position)grabbed a police batton from one of the junior officers and set upon us in a most vicious manner. Other officers joined in , hitting , kicking and insulting us and it did not matter that some of us were already bleeding - we were later taken to court , charged with participating in an illegal assembly (never mind that we were inside a hotel and its the police who stormed in) , and released on bail. The police also refused to record our complaint over the violations at the police station.

Anne, (_________) and all friends, we need you to do all you can in your various stations and networks to demand for accountability from our government as the kind of police brutality and other forms of impunity that are evident in Kenya are alarming. These and others have not only reduced the democratic spaces that tis country fought so hard to get but are in my opinion an early warning sign of things to come and the eminent breakdown of law and order.

We shall circulate a more comprehensive report with photos for your further action.

With regards,

Ann Njogu

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Jensine suggested that I contact you. I am leaving for Rwanda on Sunday. My husband is currently there working and I'll be joining him for a couple of weeks. When I arrive I think I will have a couple of days when I am free to do as I wish. I am really hoping that I could meet a few people working with various NGO's in country. There is a great chance my family will travel there each year for the next few years. I'd like to make a few friends that I can reconnect with when I am there.

My husband is working w/ a new NGO (Kids Across Africa Camp) that will be building a sports camp in the NW on a lake. We will be helping with a soccer camp this summer in partnership with Sonshine School and Bishop John Rucyahana in Ruhengeri.

If you have anyone that you know who would be willing to meet up with me at a coffeeshop, would you please pass on my information. I've not been to Kigali, but know that Bourbon Street Coffee has internet access and I am guessing that is where I will go to use my computer. If that is a proper place to meet maybe I could use that as a meeting place. If you have other suggestions please pass them on. (I'd love suggestions on the best local food!)

Kindly, 'becca Nimrod Branson, MO USA 217.314.0042 - US ph# 250 03 636890 - husband, Jonathan's Rwandan ph #


Ann Christine,

Thank you for bringing this to PulseWire and for encouraging us all to take action. I look forward to helping circulate that petition when it is posted and will absolutely spotlight it to the front page, as I have done with this post, to bring more visibility.

Please invite your networks to PulseWire to further discuss this. I think this can be a powerful place to fully develop this petition.