Kenyan Human Rights Defender Al-Amin Kimathi Discharged by Ugandan Court

The East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project is pleased by news of the dismissal of all criminal charges against Kenyan human rights defender Al-Amin Kimathi by the High Court of Kampala, this morning, September 12th, 2011. Mr Kimathi will return to Kenya after one year of pre-trial incarceration in Luzira prison, Kampala, on terrorism-related charges.

EHAHRDP welcomes Mr Kimathi’s release while condemning his original arrest and extensive pre-trial detention without bail. Since his arrest in September 2010, international, Kenyan and Ugandan human rights groups consistently raised concerns about the case, calling for Mr Kimathi’s immediate release if evidence against him could not be disclosed.

In March 2011 the release of Mr Kimathi was the subject of a solidarity resolution of the General Assembly of the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (EHAHRD-Net).

For more information see the following EHAHRD-Net press releases:

Arrest of Kenyan HRDs – 17th September 2010

Mr Mureithi Released from Police Custody – 27th September 2010

Uganda: Kenyan Human Rights Defenders Deported – 13 April 2011

Uganda: Disclose Evidence against Human Rights Defender, Others – September 9, 2011


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.