The tireless struggle for a better world for the next generation is one that never seems to end. This is the case for the heroic women human rights defenders in the African country of Kenya, who put their wellbeing, safety and even their lives at risk in pursuit of their ideals, fighting tirelessly for women's rights and environmental protection.
On the third of January this year, we woke up to the sad news of the murder of activist Elizabeth Ibrahim Ekaru (photo credit: Frontline Defenders). Elizabeth's struggle was for the protection of women's rights, environmental care and the protection of the earth.
Ekaru was stabbed to death in northern Kenya over a land dispute with a neighbour. The trial against her alleged killer took place on 25th January. However, the alleged killer pleaded "not guilty". A retrial has been scheduled for March 1st of this year.
This is not an isolated case of violence against women human rights defenders in Kenya. On 15th July last year, Joannah Stutchburry, a defender of the Kiambu Forest, was murdered. So far no arrests have been made in connection with this crime.
In August, two environmental defenders and activists, Anastacia Nambo and Kavumbi Munga from Mombasa, received death threats while fighting against environmental pollution.
In the face of such events, the organisation has requested the government's attention to seek justice for the murdered activists and, at the same time, to prevent such events from happening again. PBI accompanies the Kenyan defenders in their search for justice for the attacks against their colleagues, and also to ensure that they can continue their vital work despite the risk. For more information on PBI Kenya's work, see their website.