Flone Initiative ensuring that Justice is swift in the First of its kind Kayole #MyDressMyChoice –Court Case.The #MyDressMyChoice next court hearing is scheduled to be held at Makadara Law Courts on 21st December, 2015 at 9am.
Nairobi, Kenya (On November 17, 2014) It’s been a year since the #MyDressMyChoice call for protest. The #MyDressMyChoice march was a protest against the public stripping, humiliation and sexual violation women in the public transport industry. Outrage was prompted by cell phone videos of violent physical attacks posted online–the first time such images were publicly shared in Kenya. On December 19, 2014, President Kenyatta signed into law the Security Laws (Amendment) Act, which includes an anti-stripping clause; a reaction to Kenyan women and girls being stripped and physically or sexually assaulted in public. The clause administers a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 years to anyone convicted of forcibly undressing someone.
In November 2014, two women were forcibly stripped and robbed by multiple men in Kayole. Charges have been filed against six individuals (Micheal Kamau, Zachary Gitonga, Kelvin Njuguna, David Kinuthia and Hosea Kassim) who allegedly took part in the attack and the case is ongoing at the Makadara Law Courts. However, the complainants filed an application to drop charges against the six men accused of stripping, violent robbery and assault, indicating they had forgiven the suspects. In addition, they conceded that the suspects’ parents had asked them for forgiveness on behalf of the accused and offered the victims monetary restitution.
On March 12, 2015, the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) rejected the withdrawal of charges, citing lack of a compelling reason. On April 1, the Makadara principal magistrate, Caro Ocharo, ruled the charges could not be dropped because the case is of public interest, regardless of the fact that the victims have forgiven their assailants. The next court hearing will be at Makadara Law Courts on 21st December, 2015 at 9am.
We are reminding the public and the courts that the prosecution of stripping is a matter of public concern, regardless of whether complainants have been compensated or forgiven their assailants.
As party to the African Union Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, Kenya is required to prevent all forms of violence against women – particularly sexual and verbal violence – and to ensure that adequate resources are allocated towards this obligation. In particular, Articles 2, 3 and 4 speak to women’s right to non-discrimination, dignity as well as life, integrity and security of their person, and obliges Kenya to take appropriate and effective measures. We hope that justice will be swift in light of the importance of this issue and the violent nature of the act itself.