Kenya: Release Human Rights Defender, Muchangi Nyaga

Kenyan police must immediately release Muchangi Nyaga, a human rights defender based at Huruma slums Nairobi, who has been unlawfully detained and reportedly assaulted since his arrest on Wednesday 12th February, said the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP) today.

On 12th February 2014, between 9 and 10 pm, police officers reportedly broke into Muchangi Nyaga’s home and proceeded to ransack his property. The police took with them the cash record book and minutes record book of his organisation, Ghetto Green, strongly indicating that he was targeted for arrest on the basis of his work.  Mr. Muchangi was subsequently arrested and detained at Huruma police station. He has since been detained, unlawfully, for over 24 hours.  A visitor who managed to obtain access to Mr. Muchangi on the morning of Friday 14th February reported that his face was swollen, with an open wound on his lip, and blood-stained clothes.

Mr. Muchangi Nyaga is the Co-ordinator of Ghetto Green Foundation, a youth empowerment initiative, formed by INUKA Trust in Huruma, Kenya. Last year, Mr. Muchangi also led the ‘Walk Against Crime’ campaign to mobilize young people against crime and police brutality in Huruma slums.

“I strongly condemn the arrest and assault of Mr. Muchangi and his continued unlawful detention,” said Mr. Hassan Shire, Executive Director of EHAHRDP. “Kenyan authorities must immediately order his release, ensure access to medical treatment, and initiate a full enquiry into the circumstances surrounding this incident.” EHAHRDP called on the Kenyan authorities to respect the vital role played by human rights defenders, and support them to carry out their work, in line with the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

For more information, please contact:

Hassan Shire, Executive Director: [email protected] or +256 772 753 753

Rachel Nicholson, Advocacy Officer: [email protected] or +256 778 921 274


Human Rights Defender of the month: Veronica Almedom

Veronica Almedom is a poster child of successful immigration. A duo Eritrean and Swiss citizen, she was born in Italy, and grew up in Switzerland where she permanently resides. Her parents are some of the earliest victims of Eritrea’s cycles of violence. When Eritrea’s war of independence peaked in the early 1980s, they escaped the country as unaccompanied minors, wandering through Sudan, Saudi Arabia, before making the hazard journey across the Mediterranean into Europe. There, they crossed first to Italy, and finally, to Switzerland, where they settled first as refugees, and later, as permanent residents.