Friday, February 20, 2009

Philo Ikonya released

Philo Ikonya, President of Kenyan PEN, was arrested and beaten by police earlier this week after taking part in a peaceful demonstration outside parliament in Nairobi in protest against hyperinflation and the rising prices of maize flour at a time of impending famine in Kenya.

I have now heard that she has been released, appeared in court yesterday and was released on bail along with the two others arrested with her. She is in hospital and is making a good recovery from the injuries sustained during the police assault.

Her case has apparently received a lot of media attention in Kenya and she is receiving support from Kenyan PEN and local campaigners. She is famous, in words from the Pambazuka social justice network, for she, 'wields her pen with fierce, lyrical intelligence in the global media'. The network of writers which is represented by PEN International will do all they can to offer solidarity, support and practical help so that she can return to strength in her important role and as the inspiring person that she is.

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