Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has called for protest following the alleged abduction of Lawyer Beatrice Ngethe by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) on Friday, February 9 morning.
In a statement LSK president Eric Teuri said that despite exhaustive efforts to locate her, Ngethe’s whereabouts have remained unknown leaving her family distraught and desperate for answers.
Theuri revealed that visiting several police stations to locate her also bore no fruits.
As such, the President of the Law Society of Kenya condemned the alleged abduction adding that it is an affront to the legal profession.
“We have learnt that the DCI abducted one of our members by name Beatrice Ngethe on Friday morning and her whereabouts remain unknown.
“We have visited several police stations to trace her in vain. The family has been tossed around different police stations,” Theuri said in a statement.
According to sources within the LSK, Ngethe is believed to have been targeted for merely providing legal advice to a client.
LSK on Justice for Beatrice Ngethe
In response to the alarming situation, the LSK has instructed an advocate to file an urgent habeas corpus application on behalf of Ngethe.
This application seeks to compel the authorities to produce Ngethe in court and provide clarity on her detention.
Furthermore, the LSK called on its members to join in protests on Monday, February 12 at the DCI headquarters against what they describe as an “egregious attack” on the legal profession.
In his statement, the LSK president emphasized that “an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us,” underscoring the solidarity within the legal community.
Similarly, friends and colleagues of Beatrice Ngethe expressed their concern about her disappearance.
Faith Adhiambo Condemns the Vice
While condemning the incident, LSK Vice President Faith Adhiambo also raised concerns about the safety and security of legal practitioners in Kenya.
“I’m deeply alarmed by reports about the abduction of one of our colleague Beatrice Ngethe by DCI officers for doing her job, giving legal advice to her client.
“This is not the first-time police officers use force and abuse their power to harass, intimidate and abduct or arrest advocates for doing their work as per the oath they took.” she posed.
She also called on colleagues to turn out in large numbers on Monday, to protest against this egregious trend of state—through—police harassing advocates.
“Today it’s Ng’ethe, tomorrow it could be you. Speak out! Protect the Rule of Law. Stable Bar. Progressive Bar,” she said.
Likewise, Grace Kuria, a lawyer, and Police Relations Convener also shared her appeal on social media saying, “Dear colleagues, we have tried to trace the whereabouts of one of our own Beatrice Ngethe but to no avail.”
“The DCI have been taking us in circles and they have denied us access to Beatrice. They are questioning her and have denied her the right to representation.” she stated.
She further called on Lawyers to come out and defend one of their own from the atrocities of the police urging them to never forget what the police have done to their colleagues in the past.
However, this case come amid High Court decision to halt the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) elections for the male representative position to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), which were slated for February 29.