This campaign has now ended

Dear Friends. The #FreeToProtest campaign has now ended. Since its  launch in 2019, we successfully mobilised 1.3 million users on Facebook and Twitter. We also built a collaborative space in Kenya that encouraged learning and opened doors to engagement with various stakeholders. Protests are vital in democracy and we plan to continue campaigning on such fundamental issue in the future.

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Kenya, it is time to reclaim our right!

Our human rights are significantly undermined by restrictive legislation on public order, police brutality on everyday citizens, and negative perceptions of protestors perpetuated by the mainstream media. Protestors are targeted, prosecuted, and attacked by the police just for exercising their democratic and constitutional rights. Whilst the constitution protects the right to protest, there is a lot of progress needed in our institution’s application of these rights and public perception around what these rights mean for people.

Enough is enough.

The #FreeToProtest coalition, made up of grassroots activists and civil society organisations, has been formed to reclaim our right in a respectful and impactful way.

We hope to:

1. Support existing networks dedicated to securing the right to protest in Kenya.
2. Promote positive stories of protests and protestors in Kenya.
3. Demand better practice from the Kenyan police in their responses to protest.

Protecting our right to protest is important!

Watch our video and join the conversation to help us achieve a fairer, more equal Kenya for everybody.

Join the conversation

It is time to reclaim our democratic human rights in Kenya.

There is great power in numbers, and there is an unprecedented opportunity to join an impactful and respectful movement that can shape the course of Kenyan history for the better. In working together, we can inspire a fairer Kenya to ensure all citizens are #FreeToProtest.

Many Kenyans face repression from the police simply for attending protests. In the last 12 months, the police use force unprovoked 10% of the time, though you can make a difference. In the time it takes to make a coffee, you can sign our petition. If you want a Kenya that is free, fair and equal, make your voice heard, sign the Kenya Police: stop using violence during protests petition

Petition Toolkit

Want to get involved by signing the petition? Great!

We have put together a toolkit with more information for getting involved, including:

  • Research monitoring report
  • Draft tweets/ Facebook posts


The facts

During the 2017 general elections alone, more than 90 people lost their lives in connection with protest.

Between January 2018 and July 2019, there were 152 protests in Kenya. Security officials responded with force in 31 cases. At least 21 protesters and/or bystanders were injured and 7 were killed.

Protests are reported on almost entirely by two national newspapers. Other national newspapers fall short, with protests accounting for less than 3% of all national coverage.

Over 80% of all protests in 2018 were non-violent.

Latest Activity

Find out the latest activities from our campaign.

Kenya: Free To Protest Report 2018-2019

In response to the growing trend of violence against protesters in Kenya, ARTICLE 19 has released a report entitled The Right to Protest in Kenya 2019, which examines the laws, policies and practice around the right to protest.

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a man holds up a camera phone from a balcony to film protesters in the street at night time

Documenting protest is crucial for promoting positive narratives about protesters and much more.

Promoting positive narratives about protests and protesters is important

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