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Haki Africa demand for immediate release of anti-coal protesters in Lamu


By; Mgandi Ngala


Human rights lobby Haki Africa has demanded for the immediate release of anti-coal protesters arrested on Friday in Lamu.

The ‘Save Lamu’ activists Wallid Ahmed and Is’haq Abubakar Khatib were arrested while leading a protest against proposed Lamu Coal Power plant to be initiated in Lamu West.

Lamu West OCPD Juma Londo ordered the arrest saying that the protest was not permitted but the activists went ahead without police node.

Londo said that all those who participated in the protest will be arrested and charged.

However, Haki Africa Executive Director Hussein Khalid said that it was against the constitution for police to arrest the two environment activists despite their rights fully enshrined in the constitution.

Khalid said that Police should not operate against the constitution of Kenya and that Wallid and Khatib must be immediately and unconditionally released.

“Lamu People clearly know their rights and through various environmental assessments done and a study about coal power plant showed that the plant posed a serious environmental and health threat to human beings, the nature and marine species,” noted Mr. Khalid.

The vocal, fearless renowned human rights defender said that the coal plant posed great danger to marine life and its launch will automatically kill the main source of livelihood for the Lamu people, fishing.

“Why should you force a harmful project to the people? Can’t they go and launch it elsewhere? We fully support the efforts done by ‘Save Lamu’ activist to oppose the harmful project,” he added.

He said that Haki Africa will fully follow up on the matter to secure the release of the two human rights defenders and environmental activists and ensure that the proposed Lamu coal power project does not materialize.

The Amu Power Company under the consortium of the Gulf Energy Centum has already acquired over 975 acres of land to initiate the project which is said to produce up to MW 1,050 of power.