The Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners in Kenya (CRPPK) was a London-based organisation established on 2 July 1982 and coordinated by John La Rose from New Beacon's Stroud Green address. The Committee emerged as a response to evidence of increasingly repressive tendencies in the Kenyan government under President Daniel Arap Moi. It aimed to act as a 'solidarity organisation' for those arrested, detained or harassed for their political activities in Kenya.
The CRPPK was committed to exposing Moi's 'systematic attacks on intellectual, political and cultural life' to an international audience, focusing broadly on the struggles of 'lecturers, students, writers, lawyers, peasants, workers and members of parliament'. It continued to campaign throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s, publishing the influential Kenya News bulletin and coordinating with other Kenyan democratic and solidarity movements abroad. Aside from compiling materials on CRPPK campaigns and events, this collection also gathers documents for groups like the London-based UMOJA-Kenya and the underground organisation Mwakenya, the latter working against Moi's Kenya African National Union (KANU) government inside Kenya itself.
The CRPPK collection presents the documentary history of a truly international movement. It binds together campaigners, exiles, prisoners, international bodies and underground organisations from across the world on the issue of repression and tyranny in Kenyan politics. There is a wealth of information in correspondence and pamphlets, but it is also an archive rich with posters, adverts and clippings from the press. In addition to following the history of organisations like UMOJA or Mwakenya the collection also includes single events and individual campaigns such as the exile Wanyiri Kihoro's One Million Signature Campaign in 1991 or the Sabasaba Protest Anniversary organised in London the same year. Insight is provided into African diaspora politics in London such as those related to the Africa Centre, London WC2 as well as relations between local politics and supranational organisations like Amnesty International and International PEN (Poets, Essayists and Novelists).