NAIROBI, KENYA – Yesterday, after 21 days wrongfully detained in a Kenyan prison, six men were set free.
The men were rounded up and arrested in a police sweep. They were sent to prison. But none of them were accused or charged of any crime. Nevertheless, they were told that they would stay in prison until they could post an exorbitant bond to ensure they “keep the peace.” None of the men could pay.
So they remained incarcerated for three weeks, with no end in sight. Until IJM Kenya staff met the men in prison and took up their case.
“God bless you and please help other people like us in our situation.”The six men charged the IJM lawyer to help other innocent men still waiting for freedom in prison.
They quickly determined that the six men were innocent and deserved immediate release.
IJM’s lawyer advocated for the men vigorously before the court. On April 11, 2012, the court set them free.
The clerk unlocked the cells where the men had been awaiting the decision from the hearing. She told them they were free to go. But the men stood by the gate and refused to leave until they could thank IJM’s lawyer.
“Mungu awabariki sana na msaidie wengine kama sisi,” the men said in Swahili, charging the lawyer to help other innocent men who are wrongfully imprisoned. “God bless you and please help other people like us in our situation.”