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Lawyers protest State harassment

By Roselyne Obala

Kenya: East Africa Law Society has expressed concern over alleged harassment and intimidation of lawyers across the region.

The organisation’s president Aggrey Mwamu in a letter addressed to the secretary general, East African Community (EAC) Secretariat in Arusha, Tanzania appealed for action to curb growing instances of mistreatment of lawyers.

Mwamu took issue with EAC partner states whom he accused of appearing to be intolerant and demanding as they approach electoral cycles.

“While we recognise and are thankful for the enormous cooperation and support that we continue to enjoy from the EAC secretariat, we wish to express concern and apprehension at the increasing instances of harassment and intimidation of legal practitioners across East African Community partner states,” read part of the letter.

He regretted that in Uganda, lawyer Abdalla Kiwanuka was brutally beaten and detained by the police in Kampala as he tried to serve a court order against impeachment of the mayor of Kampala City Council.

He further cited the detention of Maitre Alain Ndibwami by the Prosecutor General in Rwanda over allegations of forgery, harassment of Mr Batonnier of the Burundi Bar Association by the Government and court proceedings against Law Society of Kenya boss Eric Mutua.