Demand #JusticeForLiz

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Young protester at a Justice for Liz rally in Kenya.
Photo courtesy of COVAW.
While returning home from a funeral in Kenya in late June 2013, 16-year-old Liz was brutally gang raped & thrown, unconscious & battered, down a pit latrine. Three of the suspects were caught, but, astonishingly, the police recorded the attack as a mere ‘assault’ & released the assailants after having them cut the police station grass as “punishment.” Liz, who developed obstetric fistula & is now incontinent, has been unable to return to school & is receiving counseling.

Almost a year later, after a global campaign amassed more than 1.7 million signatures demanding #JusticeForLiz, little progress has been made. The authorities initially took notice, and in a press release earlier this year the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions issued assurances that Liz’s case would proceed to court without further delay. However, to date five of the six suspects have not been arrested despite reports from the area that their whereabouts are known. Further, the Independent Policing Oversight Authority has not yet released their investigative report on the allegations of egregious professional misconduct by police officers handling this case, and no lawful action has been taken to address the police failures in this case. The Inspector General of Police, who admitted to erroneously “arbitrating” the case, engaged in victim-blaming & attacks on Liz’s credibility.

Liz’s case drew national and international attention to Busia County and the failures of the local authorities to adequately address sexual violence. The evidence in Busia in is very compelling, and highlights the prevalence of sexual violence plaguing women and girls, and the tremendous obstacles encountered at every stage of the criminal justice process. There are dozens if not hundreds of cases that underscore just how dire the situation has become.

Much more must be done to protect Kenya’s women and girls from sexual violence and to ensure timely access to justice for all survivors. Tragically Liz’s experience is commonplace in Kenya, where 1 in 5 women will experience sexual violence in their lifetime. Such crimes are not taken seriously, authorities frequently blame & challenge victims & justice is delayed and/or denied. Therefore, please join Equality Now and our partners through the Solidarity for African Women's Rights (SOAWR) Coalition - COVAW, FIDA-Kenya, FEMNET, Fahamu and IPAS - today in calling on Kenyan officials to ensure justice for Liz & the proper investigation & prosecution of all crimes of sexual violence.

How you can help:
1)    Participate in our action campaign available here.
2)    In addition to sending letters on behalf of our campaign, you can use your Twitter to create a groundswell of support by using the following messages, both general awareness or targeting specific Kenyan authorities (You can also retweet our messages from @equalitynow, or our partners: @COVAW & @FemnetProg):

General Messages:

  • June 23rd rally in Busia in Solidarity for #JusticeForLiz & all survivors of sexual violence – esp. in Busia Cty #EnoughIsEnough #EndVAW
  • Sexual violence is a scourge on society! Enough! #JusticeForLiz & for all survivors of #SGBVinKE http://tinyurl.com/Justice4LizRenewedCall
  • Tragically, Liz is just one of hundreds of girls & women who are survivors of sexual violence in Busia #EnoughIsEnough #EndVAW
  • Since Liz’s case, there have been 207 reported cases of rape to REEP, a local NGO. #SGBVinKE #EndVAW http://tinyurl.com/nct57fn
  • Make a difference today, send targeted emails & letters to authorities in Kenya demanding justice for #SGBVSurvivors: http://tinyurl.com/od5bsj8
  • Need your help to amplify call for justice to ensure authorities to take #SGBV more seriously in Kenya http://tinyurl.com/nct57fn
  • Demand justice for victims of #SGBV & raise awareness on systemic failures to address problems in Busia http://tinyurl.com/nct57fn
  • Join more than 1.7 million worldwide, sign @Avaaz petition demanding #JusticeForLiz & all survivors: http://tinyurl.com/pt9cylh

Authorities to Target:

  • H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, @UKenyatta @StateHouseKenya
  • Deputy President, William Ruto, @WilliamsRuto
  • Amb. Amina Mohammed (Cabinet Sec, Min of Foreign Affairs), @AMB_A_Mohammed
  • David Kimaiyo, Inspector General, Kenya Police, @PoliceKE, @IGKimaiyo
  • Judiciary, @kenyanjudiciary
  • H.E. Ms. Anne Waiguru, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Devolution & Planning, @AnneWaiguru
  • Hon. Prof Githu Muigai, Attorney General, @AGMuigai
  • Parliament, @kenyaparliament
  • Hon Dr. Willy Mutunga, Chief Justice, @WMutunga
  • Hon. Joseph Ole Lenku, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Interior & Coordination of National Government, @joelenku @InteriorKE
  • Florence Mwikali Mutua, Busia County Women’s Representative, @florence_mutua
  • Kenya’s Independent Policing Oversight Authority, @IPOA_KE
  • Office of Director of Public Prosecutions, @ODPP_KE

Targeted Messaging:

H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya

  • @UKenyatta @StateHouseKenya: STILL NO #JusticeForLiz; Ensure justice for all re: #SGBVinKE http://tinyurl.com/nct57fn #EndVAW#ImplementSOA
  • @UKenyatta @StateHouseKenya: STILL NO #JusticeForLiz, hundreds of other troubling sexual violence cases from Busia County. #EnoughIsEnough #InvestigateNOW

David Kimaiyo, Inspector General, Kenya Police

  • @PoliceKE STILL NO #JusticeForLiz! Ensure Justice for all survivors of #SGBVinKE  http://tinyurl.com/nct57fn #EndVAW#PrioritizePoliceTraining
  • @IGkimaiyo STILL NO #JusticeForLiz! Ensure Justice for all survivors of #SGBVinKEhttp://tinyurl.com/od5bsj8#EndVAW#PrioritizePoliceTraining
  • Arrest all perpetrators immediately! @PoliceKE @IGKimaiyo, STILL NO #JusticeForLiz http://tinyurl.com/nct57fn #TooManyNewCases#ImplementSOA
  • @PoliceKE, @IGKimaiyo: STILL NO #JusticeForLiz, Take #SGBVinKE seriously; #EndVAW #PrioritizePoliceTraining #ImplementSOA
  • @PoliceKE, @IGKimaiyo: STILL NO #JusticeForLiz, hundreds of other troubling sexual violence cases from Busia County. #EnoughIsEnough

H.E. Ms. Anne Waiguru, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Devolution & Planning

  • @AnneWaiguru: Help ensure #JusticeForLiz & all survivors of #SGBVinKE http://tinyurl.com/od5bsj8 #EndVAW #ImplementSOA
  • @AnneWaiguru: STILL NO #JusticeForLiz, hundreds of other troubling sexual violence cases from Busia County. #EnoughIsEnough

Hon. Prof Githu Muigai, Attorney General

  • @AGMuigai: STILL NO #JusticeForLiz! Ensure #JusticeForLiz & all survivors of #SGBVinKE http://tinyurl.com/od5bsj8  #EndVAW #ImplementSOA
  • @AGMuigai: STILL NO #JusticeForLiz, hundreds of other troubling sexual violence cases from Busia County. #EnoughIsEnough #InvestigateNOW

Hon Dr. Willy Mutunga, Chief Justice

  • @WMutunga: STILL NO #JusticeForLiz! Ensure #JusticeForLiz & all survivors of #SGBVinKE http://tinyurl.com/od5bsj8 #EndVAW #ImplementSOA
  • @WMutunga: STILL NO #JusticeForLiz, hundreds of other troubling sexual violence cases from Busia County. #EnoughIsEnough #InvestigateNOW
  • @WMutunga: Ensure effective coordination of KE justice sector #TooManyNewCases #ImplementSOA http://tinyurl.com/nct57fn

Hon. Joseph Ole Lenku, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Interior & Coordination of National Government

  • @joelenku @InteriorKE: Secure Kenya’s communities for women & girls; #JusticeForLiz #ImplementSOA #PrioritizePoliceTraining
  • @joelenku @InteriorKE: STILL NO #JusticeForLiz! Ensure justice for all survivors of #SGBVinKE; #ImplementSOA
  • @joelenku @InteriorKE: Police need a more victim centered approach 2 crimes under SOA #ImplementSOA#PrioritizePoliceTraining
  • @joelenku: STILL NO #JusticeForLiz, dozens of troubling #SGBV cases from Busia CTY. #EnoughIsEnough #InvestigateNOW
  • @joelenku: Ensure effective coordination of Kenya’s criminal justice sector, http://tinyurl.com/Justice4LizRenewedCall #TooManyNewCases#ImplementSOA
  • @joelenku @InteriorKE: Ensure women & girls are safe walking within their own villages! END #SGBVinKE; http://tinyurl.com/Justice4LizRenewedCall

Florence Mwikali Mutua, Busia County Women’s Representative

  • @florence_mutua: STILL NO #JusticeForLiz! Ensure justice for all survivors of #SGBV in Busia http://tinyurl.com/od5bsj8 #EndVAW #ImplementSOA
  • @florence_mutua: STILL NO #JusticeForLiz, hundreds of other troubling sexual violence cases from Busia County. #EnoughIsEnough
  • @florence_mutua:: Ensure women & girls are safe walking within their own villages! END #SGBVinKE; http://tinyurl.com/Justice4LizRenewedCall

Kenya’s Independent Policing Oversight Authority

  • @IPOA_KE: investigate & report on allegations of misconduct by police, take necessary lawful action #JusticeForLiz#SGBVjusticeKE http://tinyurl.com/od5bsj8
  • @IPOA_KE: STILL NO #JusticeForLiz, loads of troubling sexual violence cases from Busia Cty. http://tinyurl.com/nct57fn

Office of Director of Public Prosecutions