7TH NOVEMBER 2018
TO ALL NEWS EDITORS PRESS RELEASE
CALL FOR INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY OF OFFICERS FOUND CULPABLE OF VIOLATING THE SIXTH SCHEDULE OF THE NPS ACT 2011
We are greatly dismayed by the impunity displayed by the police officer in this incident and many more, and call for the following action:
1. The Independent Policing Oversight Authority and the Internal Affairs Unit (IAU) expedite investigations into the apparent summary execution of the 20 young men and forward the report to the director of public prosecution’s office for prosecution
of the officers found culpable.
Finally we urge the IG, IPOA, the IAU and the NPSC to enhance mechanisms of bringing to end indiscriminate executions of people without due process of the law. It is our considered view that the police cannot be investigators, prosecutors, judges and executioners at the same time.
National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders-Kenya (NCHRD-K)
Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC)
International Centre for Transitional Justice (ICTJ-K)
International Commission of Jurists –Kenya (ICJ-K)
Legal Resources Foundation (LRF)
International Justice Mission (IJM)
Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU)
Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR)
Rights Promotion and Protection Centre (RPP)
Federation of Women Lawyers in Kenya (FIDA-K)
Coalition on Violence against Women (COVAW)
Kenyans for Peace, Truth and Justice (KPTJ)
Amnesty International – Kenya
Transparency International Kenya
Katiba Institute (KI)
Social Justice Centre Working Group (SJCWG)
63rd Ordinary Session of the Africa Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
Public Session; Human Rights Situation in Africa
25th October 2018
Statement by NATIONAL COALITION OF HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS-KENYA (NCHRD-K)
Madame Chairperson, distinguished Commissioners, State Delegates, representatives of NHRIs and NGOs.
On behalf of the National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders -Kenya (NCHRD-K), I would like to thank the Commission for this opportunity to raise some of the key human rights concerns from Kenya.
We are particularly concerned that the legitimate role of protection and promotion of human rights carried on by human rights defenders and Civil Society Organizations is criminalized and target for reprisal by both state and non-state actors. Below are a few incidences of violation of human rights fundamental freedoms of human rights defenders in Kenya:
Freedom of Association: Kenyan police have continued to harass and threaten HRDs that demand justice for victims and advocate for accountability for serious injuries, death and destruction of property by security agents following unrest that took place post 2017 general elections. Most of the incidents reported by HRDs include threats of arrest, warnings against posting information about police brutality, home and office raids, and confiscation of laptops and other items. The National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders documented up to 15 cases where activists suffered these intimidation tactics.The protection of HRDs should be adhered to as prescribed by law.
Freedom of Expression: On 29 May 2018, The High Court in Nairobi temporarily suspended 26 sections of the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Bill, which was signed into law by the President on 16 May 2018, after an appeal by the Bloggers Association of Kenya, among others. While the objective of the law was to address issues including cybercrime, cyber bullying, phishing, and fake news, the law contains provisions which threaten the freedom of expression, right to privacy, the right to a fair trial. On 3 July, the suspension of the 26 provisions was extended when the Court will hear an application by the Attorney General to have the suspension lifted on the basis that it was erroneously issued.
On 31 July, during a parliamentary session, two journalists with the privately-owned People Daily newspaper were threatened with being barred from covering future parliamentary proceedings and summoned to a legislative committee. The summons was allegedly in connection to stories published on 30-31 July accusing MPs of taking and soliciting bribes from organizations and individuals they were meant to be investigating. Such threats and intimidation tactics affect on the freedom of journalists to carry out their legitimate work.
Freedom of Information: In October 2018, the Kenya government introduced a 15% excise duty tax on internet services through a new Finance bill, effected on 15th October. The Bill restricts Kenyans’ access to internet services which plays a major role in promoting access to information.
Freedom of Peaceful Assembly: Police arrested two environmental activists on 25 May 2018 during a protest against plans to set up a coal-fired power plant at Kwasasi, Lamu County. The group had sought permission to peacefully assemble and demonstrate but their request was rejected by police who deemed the protest “unlawful.”
The fact that the individuals were arrested while peacefully protesting raises concerns regarding the Kenyan government’s respect for the constitution, Article 11 of the African Charter of Human and Peoples Rights and international law standards that safeguards the right to peacefully assemble.
In light of these updates and observations, we urge the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to:
I thank You
Civic space in Kenya continues to be under pressure as a range of actions are being directed against the work of Human Rights Defenders (HRD) and Civil Society organizations in Kenya. Physical attacks, criminal and administrative actions, legislative restrictions, negative rhetoric and limitation of human rights have undermined the Constitutional and international protections available to HRDs.
It is against this backdrop that the Working Group on Human Rights Defenders in Kenya, which brings together CSOs and development partners concerned with the protection of HRDs, is organizing the third edition of the HRD Awards on the 30th of November 2018. The aim of the ceremony is to honour and publicly recognize the important work of HRDs in Kenya, by giving out awards to men and women who have demonstrated courage and impact in the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The awards are presented in three categories: the Munir Mazrui Lifetime achievement award, the Human Rights Defender of the year award and the upcoming Human Rights Defender of the year award.
The objectives of these awards are to:
The Working Group on Human Rights Defenders in Kenya develops a call for nominations which is then widely circulated by the National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders-Kenya (NCHRD-K) and other partners. This call outlines the criteria for eligibility for nomination.
A panel then shortlists five individuals per category within the set out guidelines for shortlisting candidates.
The panel verifies the HRDs human rights work through field visits, and interviews with the nominators, the nominees and their references.
The Independent Selection Panel, which comprises of eminent individuals in the human rights sector, will decide who will receive the awards based on the profiles of the nominated HRDs.
Will be held on the 30th November 2018 in the presence of CSOs, the government, selected HRDs, representatives from the international missions, and the media who will cover the event.
The following will be taken into consideration:
The winners will receive:
All nomination forms should be sent back to the NCHRD-K via firstname.lastname@example.org with a clear subject line “HRD AWARD NOMINATION” by 20th July 2018, 12.00 pm.
Get the application form here:NOMINATION FORM FOR THE HRD AWARDS 2018