Missing Kenyan activist found dead

Human rights defender, Caroline Mwatha.
Human rights defender, Caroline Mwatha.

Missing Kenyan human rights activist Caroline Mwatha has been found dead after her disappearance last week Tuesday.

Mwatha, a senior official at the Dandora Community Social Justice Center, disappeared on February 5, with efforts to find her initiating the trending hashtag #FindCarolineMwatha.

She had been documenting cases of enforced disappearance and police extrajudicial killings, including the October 2018 murders of six Dandora residents in the Eastern part of Nairobi.

A police source said that Mwatha had died from abortion-related complications.

The owner of an abortion clinic and a doctor came forward and said that “they took the body to the mortuary and booked her under a different name and indicated she died of diarrhoea,” AFP reported. 

Six people have been arrested in connection with her death, according to Kenya’s Director of Criminal.

Police sources also indicated the body was taken to the morgue on February 7, a day after she disappeared. However, this contradicts earlier reports from the family who said they had visited the mortuary but did not find Mwatha’s body. 

In an official press release, the Dandora Community Social Justice Centre expressed their “shock and disbelief” surrounding Mwatha’s death, describing her as “passionate about campaigns against police killings and police brutality.”

The statement also expressed doubt over the police findings, noting: “We are also concerned about how the investigations about Caro’s disappearance and death was conducted and we demand for an independent autopsy to be conducted as soon as possible to ascertain the real cause of her death.”