Maina Kiai claims his life is in danger over International Criminal Court
Nairobi,KENYA: Former Kenya Human Rights Commission chairman Maina Kiai has said he will hold State House liable should ‘anything’ happen to him or his family members.
He also asked the State to ensure nothing happens to any human rights activist noting that since March, they have been threatened and harassed.
The activist said it is the duty of the government to ensure all Kenyans, witnesses or not, are safe in the country.
Kiai who was flanked by several human rights defenders termed the current situation in the country as “extremely intimidating” and warned against ‘potential harm’ to persons who are not witnesses at the International Criminal Court ( ICC) cases at The Hague based court.
Kiai said he has been accused of being a witness at theICC cases even when he is not.
“I wish I was a witness at the ICC. If I had direct evidence I would be happy to be there,” he said.
He termed it ‘unfortunate’ that some people have alleged he is at The Hague even when he is In Nairobi.
“For the record it is not treason and it is not criminal to provide evidence to the ICC. Under our constitution, the ICC is part of our judicial system. Let us call them for what they are,” he said.
He however said that there is likelihood that innocent Kenyans will be harmed under suspicion they are witnesses.
“This dangerous and destructive trend is directly fuelled by well-known hate bloggers-including those who are now staff at State House,” he said.
He said the bloggers are leading attacks from State House in full view of the president. “We will hold him personally and criminally liable should anything happen to my family, to me, or to any other human rights defender or activists who are simply defending the constitution and basic human rights,” he said.
Present at the press brief were John Githongo who is a member of the advisory board for International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), International Centre for Policy and Conflict (ICPC) chief Ndungu Wainaina and longtime activist Davinder Lamba.
The statement comes barely a day after ICC presiding judge Chile Eboe-Osuji warned those participating in proceedings and the public that the court would prosecute anyone who revealed the identity of witnesses.
“Members of the press, bloggers, social media members or participants and their web hosts are particularly called upon to desist from anything that would reveal or attempt to reveal the identity of protected witnesses. Such conduct will be investigated and the culprits will be prosecuted,” warned Judge Eboe-Osuji.
This statement followed reports of attempts to reveal identity of the first witness.
The court had taken measures to conceal the identity of the witness by, among other measures, concealing her face and distorting her voice.
Kiai said: “Witnesses at the ICC are being vilified, threatened and exposed. And people are being exposed as witnesses when they are not,” he said.
He said the lies and fear on social media is escalating with direct consequences and our security system seems unable or unwilling to arrest and charge bloggers.”
Addressing the press, Kiai feared his life and that of his family members are in danger after the police informed him yesterday morning that a militia group intends to burn his family homestead in Nyeri.
“Early this morning direct threats against my family have resulted in presence of armed police and dogs at my mothers homestead in Nyeri,” he said.
He said according to the police, the militia group called “Nyaribo Support Group” is set to burn down his homestead.
He said the police have turned up to the homestead over the last few days asking about him and if his family has any fears for security.
He however said efforts to ascertain the motive of the intended attack have been futile as the police are equally scared of divulging information.-standardmedia.co.ke