Activist Mutemi Wa Kiama was on Tuesday 9th arrested at his home. It is unclear why he was arrested, but his fellow activists overheard officers saying he was arrested for alleged copyright infringement.
Police officers are said to have stormed his home at around 10 pm at night, after arriving at Kiama’s building they refused to identify themselves. Once in front of his door, they demanded he open the door.
Kiama then began a Facebook live stream, repeatedly asking the officers to show him an arrest warrant by slipping it under the door. The officers then went ahead to break the door and forcefully arresting him. The live stream was also cut after one of the officers snatched his phone during the scuffle.
Kiama was taken to Capitol Hill Police Station in Upper Hill where he was booked for digital pirating of a book. Kiama said that he was arrested by 4 officers from the Serious Crimes Unit and 3 others from Karen Police Station. He further claimed that the officers took two laptops and a phone, brutalized and taunted him.
Fellow activists including Boniface Mwangi also made their way to Capitol Hill Police station to support Kiama. They, however, believe that the accusations against Kiama are baseless and that his arrest was to intimidate and silence his opinions on corruption in the country, under the lobby outfit, Wanjiku Revolt.
Kenyans Have taken to social media to condemn his arrest and call for his immediate release under the hashtags #FreeMutemiKiama and #ReleaseKiama. Here are some of their reactions.
We stand with @WanjikuRevolt . Mwalimu Mutemi wa Kiama is not a criminal. All that @DCI_Kenya needed to do was to summon him and he'd very willingly oblige. We demand his immediate release. #FreeMutemiWaKiama now! pic.twitter.com/rLHAweNWmU
— TheNortherner (@alaminkimathi) June 9, 2020
The arrest of @WanjikuRevolt by DCI is suspect. What crime did he commit?
Why not clestate to him the crime he committed, who the complainant is and give him access to a counsel? Why kidnap him?
DCI boss Kinoti is the greatest threat Kenya’s stability. #ReleaseMutemiKiama
— Robert Alai (@RobertAlai) June 10, 2020
Corruption suspects who disappear 1/3 of our budget are arrested with warrants & decorum.@WanjikuRevolt is arrested at night, during #COVID19 without a warrant for ALLEGEDLY distribution of a book without permission.
SEE their priorities?
Kenya isn't #Burundi! @WanjeriNderu pic.twitter.com/250d31CQzF
— Demas Kiprono (@kipdemas) June 10, 2020
History has no copyright. What nonsense is this?
— #LandFirst Mwalimu Wandia (@wmnjoya) June 10, 2020
According to a tweet by fellow activist Boniface Mwangi, Kiama was later taken to Milimani law courts but wasn’t charged by the Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution. His colleagues say they wanted to start court proceedings without his lawyers present.
Here is the dramatic video of his arrest.
— Justice (@PEV_VictimsKE) June 9, 2020