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Kenya: Death threats issued to activists marked as 'traitors'

Amnesty International has today appealed to its members to call for the protection of nine Kenyan rights activists who have received serious death threats.

The six men and three Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights – some of whom are prominent members of human rights organisations – have been accused of being “traitors” to their ethnicity and have received a number of anonymous threats in the form of text messages, phone calls and emails.

They are now taking precautions for their safety, such as moving house and not making any public statements.

All but one of the activists are of Kikuyu ethnicity.

All of the activists have spoken out about what they believe to have been irregularities in Kenya’s recent elections or about human rights abuses being committed by police and armed gangs – including Kikuyu gangs – throughout the country.

Four of the human rights defenders are also named in an anonymously authored leaflet that has been circulated within the Kikuyu community. The leaflet lists more than 25 people by name, calling them “traitors [who] live among us in peace”, and issues a veiled threat that they should be killed.

Amnesty International’s Media Director, Mike Blakemore said:
“Amidst this deepening crisis unfolding in this country, the Kenyan government still has a duty to ensure the safety and protection of all the country’s human rights defenders.

“It should also investigate the threats being made against them and bring those found responsible to justice.”

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