Updates – #JusticeForLiz

Many thanks for all the support, the love, the solidarity and outrage for #JusticeForLiz. Unbelievable how far a petition that had an initial target of 1000 could go – now at 1.3 million and counting.

This story has gone global – with vast media coverage from Al Jazeera, CNN, BBC, RFI, AFP, Reuters, and numerous other media platforms#JusticeForLiz has also trended globally. (Media Coverage Mapping)

Yesterday, we managed to mobilize at least 500 people including 100 FEMNET members – African women from across the continent –  to come to the streets to say “Enough is Enough” to demand Justice, Dignity and Respect – for Liz and all other survivors and victims of violence.

We presented the 1.3million+ petition to the Office of the Inspector General, along with a list of our key demands.  Although the Inspector General wasn’t there to receive us himself, the Chief of Staff received us, took his time, answered our questions and asked us to come back today for a private meeting.

The way we were received today – starting at the gate (with soldiers greetings us warmly with smiles, telling us “you’re the ones from yesterday!” and introducing themselves to us, taking us to the office) – the Chief of Staff and his fellow officers taking over 2 hours to sit down and discuss our concerns and demands and to be able to come up with a number of immediate and long-term strategies including; revising the police curriculum and service standards to ensure gender sensitivity across the board,  guidelines on how to handle gender crimes and the establishment of gender response units.

Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has also referred this case to the National Council for Administrative Justice, top-level oversight body which brings together the judiciary, the police, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Attorney General.

We’ll be following this up – we will not stop until there is a precedent set with this case and due diligence is followed through and Liz’s case becomes a turning point for the way such crimes are handled, in Kenya and across the region.

The culture of violence, impunity and lack of accountability must come to an end.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Karam
    Nov 04, 2013 @ 02:32:41

    The Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo has implied that Liz was not raped. You have collected large amount of money for her. What are you going to do with the money now he has made it apparent that she was not raped. Why has Femnet gone quite and not responded to his story.
    NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 02 – The police now say it is unlikely 16 year old Busia girl popularly known as just ‘Liz’ was gang raped in the wee hours of June 27, 2013.

    The Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo made the revelation on Saturday just two days after women’s advocacy group Femnet mounted demonstrations outside his Jogoo House Office.

    “Unfortunately, our investigations have revealed information which the public do not have and which members of the public need to appreciate before they offer a blanket condemnation on the incident,” he said in a statement.

    Kimaiyo said the findings of their investigations do not corroborate the girl’s account pointing out that the time that elapsed between Liz calling out for help and her being found did not allow for a gang rape.

    “The time span between the screams for help and when the villagers actually came out to her rescue is given as too short for six assailants to have gang raped her,” Kimaiyo’s statement reads.

    Kimaiyo also based his analysis on the fact that Liz was repeatedly asked both by her mother and medical personnel whether she was raped and she responded to the negative.

    The Inspector General of Police did not however factor in the stigma and trauma that are the natural consequence of a sexual assault.

    Even so he went on to explain that she was not found in a pit-latrine as alleged but three metres away from one under a mango tree where she sat after pulling herself out of the pit latrine.

    “The girl later explained that she fell into the pit latrine as she was escaping from the assailants and that she struggled on her own to come out of it,” he reported.

    On further interrogation, Administration Police Spokesman Masoud Mwinyi also denied the allegation that the police ‘sentenced’ Liz’ assailants to grass-cutting for their crime.

    In his statement Kimaiyo explains that the assailants were only set free after the girl’s and assailants’ parents agreed to put the matter behind them.

    “The girl gave the names of some of the assailants who she was able to identify and they were rounded up and arrested and taken to Tingolo AP Camp…deliberations between the families also resolved to have the suspects released since the condition of the girl was not serious.”

    A determination Kimaiyo says was made only after the girl was subjected to a medical examination at the Musibiri Dispensary.

    “It is only after she was admitted at Kakamega District Hospital on August 26, 2013 that she disclosed that she had been raped,” Kimaiyo said in his statement.

    And Mwinyi told Capital FM News that none of the medical reports neither from Musibiri or Kakamega, where she had been taken after complaining of lower back pain, indicated that she had been raped.

    Getting to the crux of the matter, Kimaiyo explained that while his office had forwarded Liz’ case file to the Director of Public Prosecutions, he found it unlikely that it would go much further.

    “Elizabeth took two months for her to report this fact. It may therefore be futile to charge the suspects in a court of law with rape without proper evidence as the case will just collapse,” he projected.

    He did however say that he would be instituting disciplinary action against the three AP officers who witnessed the girl’s and assailants’ parents reach an agreement; not for assuming the role of the Judiciary but for failing to, “record the agreement in writing.”

    “Their key mistake is that this agreement was not recorded in writing. This is a matter which is treated as a serious procedural oversight and disciplinary action has been instituted against the officers,” he said.

    Kimaiyo’s mitigation measures may have however come a little too late with Chief Justice Willy Mutunga having already ordered investigations into the police’s handling of the affair.

    Reply

    • Nebila Abdulmelik
      Nov 17, 2013 @ 14:06:37

      Karam, as a coalition we are still taking action. The latest being that the DPP has just sent the case to the CID for fresh investigations. We have also engaged with media to share the ludicrosity of the IG’s statements. How does one get fistula from falling?? And how is it that Liz would need surgery to repair the slipped disk on her back and to repair the fistula that she had developed? We have also been on ground speaking to Liz, her mom, doctors and counselors. Doctors had filled out the P3 form and submitted to the police – doctors are also willing to testify that her injuries could not have been from anything other than malicious sexual violence. We will not let this case rest until there’s justice. (sincere apologies for my very delayed response, I haven’t been on my blog or online much)

      Reply

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