Kenyan Grassroots activists from the Coalition for Constitution Implementation Kenya, Coalition for Grassroots Human Rights Defenders Kenya, World March of Women Kenya, Kenyan Peasants League, Dandora Must Change Social Movement and Bunge la Mwananchi have condemned with strongest possible terms the killings of Honduras Indigenous Leader and Activist Berta Caceres in Honduras and exiled Burundi opposition member Siajabu Erick in Kakuma Refugee Camp and have decried the increasing hostile environment against Grassroots Activists and Opposition party members globally.
Berta Caceres was killed by unknown assailants on 3 March inside her home in La Esperanza in the western province of Intibuca Honduras and was the coordinator and co-founder of the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Honduras – COPIHN.
Caceres was a staunch Human Rights Defender among the Lenca Indigenous community and in 2015, Caceres won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for her stand against environmental degradation
On the other hand, Siajabu Erick was an exiled member of the opposition FNL and was shot dead by unknown people at Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. The Late Erick fled Burundi in 2010 after a clash between the opposition and Nkurunziza government. Erick comes from Rumonge Minago province in Burundi.
Speaking to this reporter, Coalition for Grassroots Human Rights Defenders Kenya Convener Rachael Mwikali condemned the killings and wondered how Berta could be killed while she was under police protection. Rachael also wondered how Erick could be shot dead inside a refugee camp manned by the UNHCR and called for speedy investigations into the killings and prosecution of the culprits.
Bunge la Mwananchi Deputy Speaker Musa Chekai noted that there was a systematic targeting of Human Rights Defenders and Opposition Activists globally and asked Protection agencies not take reported threats against activists for granted.
The activists also noted that the civic space was Shrinking globally quoting an Heinrich Boll Foundation report and called on the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders and the UN Special Rapporteur on Right of Assembly to take the issue of increased threats targeted at Human Rights Defenders to the UN General Assembly.
The activists plan to hold a vigil in honour of the latest victims of systematic killings.