Written by 23:21 World

Abductions Rattle Kenya as Anti-Government Protests Continue

One activist was taken while organizing a blood drive for wounded protesters. Another said he was snatched as he worked at home after midnight, his wife and three children sleeping nearby. A third said he was beaten and blindfolded before being tossed into the trunk of a car.

All of them said they were swept up by government security forces in Kenya over the past two weeks after they had spoken out against a contentious bill to raise taxes in the cash-strapped East African nation.

Some had participated in the wave of antigovernment protests that rocked Kenya after the bill was first introduced. At least 39 people were killed during clashes with the police in June, according to the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights.

At least 32 people, including activists, medical workers and social media influencers, have been abducted or arbitrarily detained, according to interviews with human rights monitors and dozens of activists, including five who recounted being seized. Some spoke on the condition of anonymity because they feared retribution.

They told how armed men in balaclavas and unmarked vehicles yanked them from the streets or their homes in the middle of the night, blindfolded them, beat them and interrogated them about their involvement in the protests.

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Last modified: 8 July 2024
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