The Pan-African Palestine Solidarity Network (PAPSN) condemns the police attack against members of Kenyans4Palestine during their peaceful protest outside the German embassy in Nairobi on Thursday, 25 January 2024. The purpose of the demonstration was to voice the disapproval of Kenyans to the ongoing genocide of Palestinians in Gaza, and the complicity of western states such as Germany, which as sided with Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). We denounce this violence perpetrated against people demonstrating for justice and peace and against genocide, and in solidarity with a people enduring daily massacres.
Kenyans4Palestine consists of Kenyan standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people and raising awareness about the ongoing 75-year occupation of the Palestinian people and Palestinian land by Israel, and the genocide in the Gaza Strip for the past 110 days.
Despite the protest being peaceful, and K4P having informed Kenyan authorities in advance, the demonstrators were met with a violent crackdown by the security forces. Activists were subjected to tear gas, physical assaults, injuries, and even arrests, thus violating their rights to free expression and protest.
K4P is a member of PAPSN, a continent-wide civil society coalition that coordinates the activities of Palestine solidarity groups across Africa. We draw the attention of Kenyan authorities to the Genocide Convention, which makes it a duty of states to prevent the crime of genocide, even when it occurs beyond their borders. In the context of the genocide currently underway in Gaza, with more than 25,000 civilians killed, close to 100,000 injured, hospital, schools, churches, mosques and UN facilities targeted and bombed, it is unconscionable that any African government may maintain business-us-usual relations with Israel, a state guilty of colonialism, occupation and apartheid. Such relations constitute complicity in the crime of genocide.
Our members across the continent have noted that the Kenyan government has failed to take an acceptable humanitarian or political stance against the horrors suffered by the Palestinian people. It remains silent in the face of gross violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, as well as genocide that we watch daily on our screens. That, after such silence and complicity, the Kenyan authorities even refuse to allow its own citizens to express their anger and disgust at the genocide is shocking. As a nation that, not long ago, lived under a similar regime of colonialism, from which it gloriously liberated itself, we expect more solidarity from the Kenyan government for another people living under colonialism and occupation.
PAPSN stands in solidarity with our members who were subjected to violence and repression during their peaceful demonstration on Thursday. We call on the Kenyan government to respect the rights of those protesting against genocide, and for the government itself to take meaningful action to address the ongoing Palestinian crisis, rather than supporting a right-wing, racist and colonialist Israeli regime intent on genocide and crimes against humanity. History will judge harshly those who choose to remain complicit in the face of injustice.