Silence in Kenya by Journalists and Activists after Robert Alai was arrested on Tuesday morning by officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), a day after Police Spokesman Charles Owino told journalists that action will be taken against him.

In 2017, Robert Alai was given a State Commendation by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta. When he served President Uhuru’s interest, he wasn’t harassed.

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

― George Orwell
Silence in Kenya by Journalists and Activists after Robert Alai was arrested on Tuesday morning by officers from the DCI. #FreeAlai #FreeRobertAlai Click To Tweet

Police accuse blogger Robert Alai and a prison officer of being Shabaab sympathisers

Robert Alai has written untruthful things about me and my wife.

He has also written nasty things about my friends, yet I have never, even once, asked him to delete a negative article that he has written about me. He has said and written things in general, that l have not always agreed with, but l respect his freedom of expression.

Robert Alai has said and written things in general, that l have not always agreed with, but l respect his freedom of expression. #FreeAlai #FreeRobertAlai Click To Tweet

Before you continue reading this, I highly recommend this article about How Kenya has Failed her Youth.

It is an honest, emotional and critical perspective on the current state of Kenya in relation to Radicalisation of Youth and Terrorism. Click here to open the article in a new tab.

Robert Alai’s State Commendation by President Uhuru Kenyatta:

In 2017, Robert Alai was given a State Commendation by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta. When he served President Uhuru’s interest, he wasn’t harassed.

He was awarded and celebrated by the state and also paid to do their dirty work. When Alai walked to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters last week, he went there confidently because he thought they wouldn’t touch him.

Robert Alai was awarded and celebrated by the state and also paid to do their dirty work. He thought they wouldn’t touch him… #FreeAlai #FreeRobertAlai Click To Tweet
President Uhuru Kenyatta greets blogger Robert Alai during the State House Energy Summit on July 27,2016. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL
President Uhuru Kenyatta greets blogger Robert Alai during the State House Energy Summit on July 27,2016. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL

What happened next was a shock; he was compelled to hand over his phones and passwords, he was handcuffed and the police went with him to search his office and his house.

His family saw their father come home handcuffed like a criminal and their house ransacked. The officers weren’t looking for anything in particular, their aim was to humiliate him. Which they did.

Robert Alai held in solitary confinement at Central Police Station.

As l write this, Robert Alai is being held in solitary confinement at Central Police Station. He has been there for the past 10 days.

I have visited him three times in the past one week and he narrated his arrest to me. He has no cellmates. He isn’t allowed writing material and all his visitors are screened before they can see him.

His brother took him a Che Guevara book to read but the police wouldn’t allow it. According to Alai, the officers have been kind to him and they’re just doing their job.

Robert Alai is being held in solitary confinement at Central Police Station. He has been there since 19th June. #FreeAlai #FreeRobertAlai Click To Tweet
Robert Alai Arrested - Reactions from Hivi Sasa
Robert Alai Arrested – Reactions from Hivi Sasa

Alai’s arrest is not simply about the fact that he shared images of dead officers, he is really being punished for shaming the government.

For showing how they handle the bodies of fallen officers. For inciting an internal police revolt and provoking anger.

There was nothing morally or ethically wrong with what he did. It has disgusted and shamed the government that he shared the images of 12 police officers who were killed after an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) planted by Al Shabaab terrorists exploded.

The officers’ bodies were piled up in the back of a truck like sacks of garbage.

Blogger arrested for posting terror-related photos.
Blogger Robert Alai arrested for posting terror-related photos.

The police officers that arrested Alai complained that it was a waste of their time to arrest him. They know the court will acquit him because he is not a terrorist, neither is he a terrorist sympathizer.

He just embarrassed the government yet President Uhuru Kenyatta had awarded him a state commendation. How do you embarrass the hand that once fed you?

Two other officers are in jail; Administration Police Inspector Wifred Kipkemei Maiyo and prison officer Patrick Safari. Kipkemei and Safari have served this country for 32 years combined.

Kipkemei is alleged to have sent the images to Alai and Safari’s offence is commenting on the story about Alai’s arrest. They’re both being held at Anti-Terrorism Police Unit cells in Upperhil.

Two other officers are in jail; Administration Police Inspector Wifred Kipkemei Maiyo and prison officer Patrick Safari. Kipkemei and Safari have served this country for 32 years combined. #FreeAlai #FreeRobertAlai Click To Tweet
Alai to face terror-related charge for sharing slain cops' photos
Alai to face terror-related charge for sharing slain cops’ photos

Alai, Kipkemei and Safari are the first people in Kenya to be charged under the controvesial anti-terrorism law.

The laws were passed to specifically target anyone who embarrasses the government with the truth; journalists, activists, media houses, bloggers and ordinary social media users.

Alai’s post, at best was irresponsible but not terrorism. Calling Alai and the two officers “Al-Shabaab sympathizers” is insulting Kenyan’s intelligence.

The government has shut down TV stations in the past. At this rate, it could be only a matter of time before the government says your thoughts are illegal.

The word revolution is now “illegal” in Kenya and people posting about revolution are monitored. Now posting about officers dying for nothing is “terrorism.”

I highly recommend this article about Terrorism in Kenya – The Power of a Traumatised Country written by Onyango Otieno. It explores sensitive issues like how the Post-Election Violence has claimed more lives than any terrorist Attack in Kenya.

Onyango asks: “Could we have Masked the actual face of Terrorism in Kenya?”. Inspired by the recent Riverside Attacks and tweets like this one by Ramapithecus @RamzZy_ : Al Shabaab gives the youth something to die for in areas where the govt gives the youth nothing to live for.  Click here to open the article in a new tab.

BREAKING NEWS: 7 AP officers killed, 2 others injured in Wajir IED attack

What is Kenya’s Army doing in Somalia?

The big question is, what are we doing in Somalia? A report by United Nations accused Kenyan soldiers in Somalia of facilitating illegal charcoal exports from the port city of Kismayu and helping Al-shabaab generate millions of dollars every year.

Boniface Mwangi

The truth is that there are politicians and business people who are benefiting by doing business in Somalia. Our officers, both Kenya police and Army are dying in vain in the war against terrorism.

We have tenderpreneurs supplying our military with uniforms, vehicles, fuel, ammunition, food and everything the troops in Somalia need. For this reason, our officers must bleed so that they can make profit.

Sweet secrets: Sugar smuggling and State formation in Kenya-Somalia borderlands by Prof Jacob Rasmussen of Denmark says that 70 businessmen in Kismayu, Garissa and Nairobi import Brazilian sugar through Kismayu port and then smuggle it into Kenya through the porous Somalia border.

The smugglers have hundreds of trucks. It is a million-dollar business. The evil businessmen work with Al-Shabaab, Somali and Kenya military to ensure safe passage of the sugar and other contraband goods.

The people funding Al-shabaab and making Kenya unsafe are known. We know them. They’re top politicians who are photographed standing next to the president.

Blogger Robert Alai arrested over images of Wajir IED attack

Silence by Journalists and Activists around Robert Alai’s Arrest:

The silence by Kenyans around Alai’s arrest, especially by journalists and activists, is wrong. After the government is done silencing Robert Alai they will come after you.. When you speak for Alai, you’re really speaking for yourself. If Alai has committed a crime, he deserves a fair trial. Alai does not deserve solitary confinement.

Alai speaks about Who he is and what he does
Robert Alai speaks about Who he is and what he does

In the past, Journalists have been fired from media stations because a call came from Statehouse. Miguna Miguna was deported because he was fearless and his ideas scared the government. Alai and Kipkemei are in jail because of sharing truthful images. Arresting them is just the beginning.

Our silence will embolden the government to continue the crackdown on truth tellers. Journalists will no longer be fired but arrested. Robert Alai, and anyone who speaks truth to power scares the government.. Let’s fight for our freedom of expression! #FreeAlai

Robert Alai speaks about Who he is and what he does:

Robert Alai on Who’s Smarter Now

Robert Alai To be Charged With Aiding Terrorism Due To Heavy Evidence

Robert Alai Arrested For Allegedly Sharing President Kenyatta’s Contacts On Social Media

Kenyan’s Reaction on Social Media on Why Robert Alai was Arrested:

Alai arrested for leaking photos of President Kenyatta's family in hospital
Robert Alai arrested for leaking photos of President Kenyatta’s family in hospital