Trace missing human rights activist, lobby urges DCI

Mercy Mwai @wangumarci

Amnesty International now wants the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and National Police Service (NPS) to thoroughly investigate the disappearance of human rights defender Caroline Mwatha, who has been missing since Wednesday, last week.

In a statement to newsrooms, Amnesty executive director Houghton Irungu wants DCI and NPS to establish Mwatha’s whereabouts and reunite her with friends and family.

According to Mwatha’s friends, she was last seen at her home in Dandora on Wednesday morning but since then, her phone has been switched off and her whereabouts unknown.

Reads the statement: “Amnesty International Kenya calls upon the DCI and NPS to thoroughly investigate Carol’s disappearance.”

Mwatha’s disappearance has been reported at Buru Buru Police Station. She is a founder member and case worker with Dandora Community Social Justice Centre, which has been documenting and lobbying for police professionalism, public accountability and an end to extrajudicial killings.

“Amnesty International also calls on any person who may have information on the disappearance of Carol Mwatha to share such information with the nearest police station or Dandora Social Justice Centre, 0722746164. We also call on Kenyans to continue using social media and all other means to help #FindCarolineMwatha,” adds the statement.

The statement came just as Mwatha’s parents, Ann Mbai and Muya Mbai, who recorded a statement at Dandora Police Station, said that they learnt of the daughter’s disappearance after she failed to pick her daughter from Moi Forces Academy.

They claimed that a friend, who was helping them locate her had tracked her phone, which had been switched on on Saturday at Donholm and later Buruburu. Mwatha reportedly tried to communicate with her husband, who is in Doha, Qatar.

Ann however said the phone was later switched off. Irungu  regretted that Mwatha’s disappearance, which has entered its fifth day, falls into a pattern of threats and harassment of citizens’ rights.

He told the government to come up with deliberate policies that implement the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and to recognise, work with, and protect human rights defenders in the country. “Human rights monitoring and whistle-blowing are important guarantees of an open and democratic society.”

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