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

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Human Rights Defender of the month: Kasale Maleton Mwaana

Kasale’s human rights activism precedes his years. The son of pastoralist parents from Ngorongoro district in northern Tanzania, he grew up seeing his parents and entire community having to defend their land and way of life against authorities who thought their lands could be put to better use. Now, at 25, Kasale is already one of the most recognizable advocates of his people’s cause, much to the ire of Tanzanian authorities.
“Our people’s struggle goes back many generations. It started with the pushing out of our forefathers from Serengeti to gazette Serengeti National Park in 1959, and then further evictions from the Ngorongoro crater to gazette the Ngorongoro conservation area in 1975. Since then, every generation has had to resist further evictions. It’s now my generation’s turn,” he says.

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