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Thursday, September 13, 2007

it has to stop it has to stop it has to stop it has to

It's election year in Kenya. Kenyan women running for electoral office face a barrage of tactics designed to intimidate and terrorize them into withdrawing. The tactics range from threats and verbal intimidation, to harassment and obstruction as they campaign, to brutal violence.

Last Friday, Flora Igoki Tera, Parliamentary Candidate for the North Imenti Constituency in the Meru district of Kenya, was attacked and tortured by a gang of 5 men, near her Meru home.

They choked her. Scored her wrists with thorns. Beat her with iron bars, dislodging a disc in her spine. Shaved and tore her hair from her head, mixed it with feces, stuffed it into her mouth, and forced her to swallow it.

All the while, they repeatedly warned her against running for the North Imenti seat in the forthcoming elections. Before this, Ms. Tera had suffered another assault, a few weeks ago, by unknown assailants who burned her knuckles with cigarettes.

Of 222 Members of Parliament in Kenya, only 18 are women.



Send just ONE EMAIL. To Flora Tera, cc'd to the Electoral Commission of Kenya, whose job it is to ensure peaceful, free and fair elections.

Here's how:

A) Send an email to with FLORA TERA in the subject box.

B) In the cc box, type, or copy and paste:
This is the email address of the Electoral Commission of Kenya.

Your email [SUGGESTED TEXT BELOW] will go to the Centre for Rights, Education and Awareness for Women who will deliver it to Flora Tera. These messages are vital fuel for her healing and her courage, as she continues her campaign.

Your email will also go to the Electoral Commission of Kenya, putting international heat on them to take action.

Finally, I will forward the emails to John Michuki, Minister of Internal Security, here.

You can also post further messages at this site. The greater the volume of response, the better.

C) SUGGESTED TEXT [Feel free to substitute your own words, and add whatever else you'd like. But please include the info about groups cc'd and about the Electoral Commission of Kenya]:

Dear Ms. Tera,

I want to express my deep outrage and sadness at the terrible attack you have suffered. Please know that you are not alone, and this atrocity will not go unchallenged. People around the world are sending you their support.


I am a member of the following groups / international listserves / online communities / networks, to whom I have circulated this information, and appeal for justice.


I have copied this email to the Electoral Commission of Kenya. We call upon Mr. Samuel Kiviutu, chair of the Commission, to allocate resources IMMEDIATELY to security for women candidates in the run-up to the elections. We call upon the Commissioner of Police to take immediate steps to identify and prosecute your attackers.

We salute your courage, your political vision, and your determination to make a difference for the people of Kenya.

With heartfelt wishes for your recovery,

Organization or Affiliation:
City and Country:


Post this info on all groups / listserves / online communities you belong to, that are concerned with global human rights, peace and justice.

Thank you for listening. For being out there.


Blogger deamer said...

I'm saddened to read this ugly truth of a story - Though I want to pass on my best karma to Ms Flora Igoki Tera and let her know that she is an inspiration to those of us who find it difficult to even imagine the type of hurdles she and others like her face. I thank her for her bravery - it will eventually make a difference.
thank you,

9/17/2007 11:38 PM  
Blogger shailja said...

Thank you, Deamer. I've passed this on to Flora Tera. It's deeply moving to her - and to me - to have you and others around the world share your feelings, and send your support.

9/21/2007 2:38 AM  

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