Attempted attack at home of human rights defender Amina Mohamed in Kenya

January 24, 2014

On 21 January 2014, a group of unidentified armed men attempted to break in to the house of human rights defender Ms Amina Mohamed. She was recently warned that a gang, hired by a young man involved in a lawsuit she is working on, was planning to “punish” her and her family for her activism on gender-based violence. Amina Mohamed is a community activist, and member of Bunge la Wamama Mashinani (The Women’s Parliament at the Grassroots), the women’s branch of the Bunge la Mwananchi movement (The People’s Parliament). Amina Mohamed has particularly been vocal on issues of gender-based violence in KenyaFrontline NEWlogo-2 full version - croppedOn the night the attempted break-in occurred, Amina Mohamed was asleep in her house in Nairobi’s Eastleigh neighbourhood. She awoke to the sound of the front door being forced open. She and her daughter began to scream and call for help from their neighbours. As they screamed, the attackers reportedly told them “Shut up, we’re going to teach you a lesson”. A neighbour who saw the attack unfolding reports that a gang of four men armed with wooden  clubs and machetes participated in the attack. The neighbour alerted the other neighbours and together they managed to scare the attackers away.

Amina Mohamed believes she is being targeted in connection with a sexual exploitation case that she has been working on since October 2012. The victim, a young refugee woman living in Nairobi, had complained of being sexually exploited by a young man in the same neighbourhood. Thanks to the human rights defender’s advocacy work on the case and through the intervention of the Coalition on Violence Against Women (COVAW), a sexual assault lawsuit has been initiated, and is pending at a local court. In the meantime, the suspect was briefly detained but is currently out on bail. The morning after the attempted break-in, Amina Mohamed went to Huruma police station to report the incident but, for unknown reasons, the police refused to record her statement. Since then, Amina Mohamed and her family have been living in fear of being attacked once again.

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