Arrest of Mutemi Kiama, others are acts of state repression: KHRC
The Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) has condemned the arrest and prosecution of activist Mutemi Kiama.
In a statement on Friday, the KHRC termed the recent arrests- which include the arrests of 20 other activists within the country-as acts of repression backed by the state.
According to the human rights organisation, Mr. Kiama received very unfair bails terms despite the prosecution failing to produce evidence in court to back his Cyber Crimes charge.
“In her bail ruling Senior Magistrate Jane Kamau dismissed the application by the prosecution in its entirely but then proceeds to impose extremely unjust bail terms and chose to be complicit through her collaboration with the prosecution stating that she did that to make Mutemi “assist with police investigations” a duty we pay taxes to be performed by the police,” the statement reads.
The NGO also accused the courts of being in bed with the state, saying that the ‘gagging order that prohibits Mutemi from using his social media accounts or speaking about COVID-19 loans is outrageous in a country that proclaims that all suspects are innocent until proven guilty’
Kiama was arrested over two posters warning the International Monetary Fund (IMF) against issuing further loans to Kenya, more directly to President Kenyatta and his DP Ruto.
The prosecution alluded to suspicion that the suspect must have been in collusion with other persons who are still being pursued
Mutemi was released on Ksh.500,000 cash bail on Thursday, pending the outcome of a police investigation into allegations that he used photographs of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto to create “public notice” posters.
The activist was also ordered not to use his social media accounts and to report to the investigating officer daily as the case was set for mention on April 20, 2021. Kiama, who spent the night in police custody, was previously arraigned in a Nairobi court on Wednesday where the prosecution pending completion of investigations.
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