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Kenya

    November 17, 2017

    Kenyan police must stop firing live ammunition during opposition protests and instead protect all people gathering in public, said Amnesty International today amid running battles in which three opposition supporters are feared to have been shot dead.

    “We have received reports of at least three deaths, and live TV footage shows another man being shot in the leg. Firearms can only be used when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life,” said Abdullahi Halakhe, Amnesty International’s East Africa Researcher.

    “The indiscriminate use of live ammunition is totally unacceptable. Firearms must never be used to disperse crowds.”

    According to Amnesty International research, at least 66 people have been killed by police in election-related violence since August. At least 33 of them died in the aftermath of the 8 August elections and another three were killed during the October re-run.

    The opposition supporters were trying to get to Uhuru Park in downtown Nairobi, where they expected Raila Odinga to address them, just hours after he had returned from an eight-day trip to the US.

    October 30, 2017

    Heavily armed police are using unlawful force against protesters and bystanders in the western city of Kisumu in what appears to be a deliberate campaign to punish inhabitants for continuing to protest amid chaotic elections over the past week, Amnesty International said today.

    In Nairobi, instances of police brutality were interspersed with acts of violence and intimidation by supporters of the two main political figures in the country – incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga.

    “In Kisumu, the evidence we gathered paints a grim picture of police shooting, aggressively assaulting, and even breaking into the homes of people suspected to be protesters; but also those who happen to be in the vicinity of protests. People have been seriously injured or shot while buying food in the market, walking home from school or resting in their homes,” said Justus Nyang’aya, head of Amnesty International Kenya.

    “What we are witnessing appears to be punitive policing; a blatant attempt to intimidate and punish residents in the opposition stronghold.”

    Killings and indiscriminate shootings

     

    October 16, 2017

    Authorities Should Rein in Law Enforcement for Repeat Election



    (Nairobi, October 16, 2017) – Kenyan police killed at least 33 people, possibly as many as 50, and injured hundreds more in some parts of Nairobi, the capital, in response to protests following the August 8, 2017 elections, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said in a joint report released today.



    The 37-page report, “‘Kill Those Criminals’: Security Forces’ Violations in Kenya’s August 2017 Elections,” documents excessive use of force by police, and in some cases other security agents, against protesters and residents in some of Nairobi’s opposition strongholds after the elections.



    Researchers found that although police behaved appropriately in some instances, in many others they shot or beat protesters to death. Other victims died of asphyxiation from inhaling teargas and pepper spray, from being hit by teargas canisters fired at close range, or from being trampled to death by fleeing crowds.



    August 25, 2017

     

    Photo Credit: (From left to right) - via inclusive security, Kenya Human RIghts Commission and Human rights house network.

    Download PDF of UA 198/17 Kenya

    198 Kenya.pdf 198 Kenya.pdf

     

    August 18, 2017

    Kenya held its second General Elections under the 2010 Constitution and sixth since the introduction of multiparty politics on 8 August 2017.

    The election was closely contested.

    The two major political formations that contested the elections were: the ruling Jubilee Party, headed by Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, both seeking a second term; and the opposition National Super Alliance (NASA), led by Raila Odinga, with Kalonzo Musyoka as his running mate.

    According to the results declared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Uhuru Kenyatta received 54.2 per cent of the presidential vote, while Raila Odinga received 44.7 per cent.

    NASA has disputed the declared results against the background of the murder of Chris Musando, the IEBC’s ICT Manager a week before the elections.

    For 25 year old Felix Otieno, resident of Mathare, an informal settlement east of Nairobi, the declaration of the presidential results overturned his young life.

    August 15, 2017
      Responding to attempts by Kenya’s NGO regulator to shut down two human rights organizations – the Kenya National Human Rights Commission (KHRC) and the African Centre for Open Governance (AfriCoG) - Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, said:   “The NGO Coordination Board’s decision must be seen for what it really is - a cynical attempt to discredit human rights organizations. This is an unlawful and irresponsible move in this critical post-election period.   “This assault on human rights groups must be immediately halted. The Kenyan authorities must rein in the NGO Coordination Board and not allow such grotesque witch-hunts to take place.”   Background  
    August 14, 2017
      The Kenyan authorities must investigate reports that police shot dead demonstrators protesting against the outcome of the presidential election last night, said Amnesty International today as protesters started gathering again in opposition strongholds. As celebrations began in pro-government areas after Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner of the presidential election, supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga poured onto the streets in parts of Nairobi and Kisumu to protest the outcome.   “The Independent Policing and Oversight Authority (IPOA) must immediately launch an independent and effective investigation into reported killings and where there is credible evidence of crimes, those responsible must be brought to justice,” said Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.   “Everyone has a right to peaceful protest and they must not be hurt, injured or killed for exercising that right.”  
    August 09, 2017

    Kenyan police must not use unnecessary force in their handling of any election-related protests, said Amnesty International today amid fear and uncertainty in the country after the opposition rejected the initial publicly announced results.

    In a live press briefing this morning, opposition candidate Raila Odinga, of the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition, alleged the electoral commission’s website had been hacked and the results manipulated in favour of the ruling Jubilee Party. He claimed the system had been hacked using the log-in details of Chris Msando, the top election body official who was found murdered on 31 July.

    Initial publicly announced results showed the incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta leading in the votes.

    August 02, 2017
      Recent events in Kenya, including the chilling murder of a top electoral commission official, are creating a cloud of fear that must be properly addressed, warned Amnesty International today, ahead of next week’s election.   Chris Msando, who was in charge of the electronic voting system at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), was found murdered three days after his family reported him missing to the police.   “This brutal murder has sent a chill down the spine of many Kenyans and raised the spectre of violence,” said Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.   “Msando’s murder is the most horrendous incident this election year, but it is not the only one with the potential to sow fear. Numerous threatening statements have been made by high-ranking officials and politicians that infringe on people’s rights to freedom of expression and to access information.”  
    July 31, 2017
      Reacting to the murder of Chris Msando, head of information technology at Kenya’s independent election monitoring body, Amnesty International’s Kenya researcher, Abdullahi Halakhe said:   “This gruesome murder, just a week before hotly contested elections, should sound alarm bells for the Kenyan government and highlight the need for them to up their game in terms of ensuring the safety of key officials at this tense time.   “Next week’s vote will be extremely close and there is a very real danger that the situation will erupt if the authorities do not ensure that the Kenyan people are able to cast their votes free from intimidation, threats and violence.   “Chris Msando’s death must be urgently investigated and those found responsible brought to justice.”    
    May 26, 2017

    Following today’s ruling by the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights that the Kenyan government violated the rights of the Indigenous Ogiek people when it evicted them from their land, Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, said:

    “Today’s ruling is a historic victory for the Ogiek community, and gives hope to all Indigenous peoples everywhere.

    “In this one ruling, the court has both affirmed the Ogiek’s right to live freely on their ancestral land, and proved to the continent that regional justice mechanisms work.

    “But a ruling is not enough, it must be respected. The Kenyan government must now implement the ruling and let the Ogiek live freely on their ancestral land.”

    The Ogiek, who live mostly in Kenya’s Mau and Mt Elgon forests, are a hunter-gatherer community. They have fought for a long time in the national courts, and now at the African Court, to live on their land of their ancestors, but the government has routinely subjected them to arbitrarily evictions citing the need to conserve the environment, claims the court rejected.

    February 09, 2017

    In response to today’s court ruling blocking the Kenyan government’s unilateral decision to shut Dadaab refugee camp, Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, said:

    “Today is a historic day for more than a quarter of a million refugees who were at risk of being forcefully returned to Somalia, where they would have been at serious risk of human rights abuses. This ruling reaffirms Kenya’s constitutional and international legal obligation to protect people who seek safety from harm and persecution.

    Stopping the imminent closure of Dadaab refugee camp is an essential first step in respecting and protecting refugee rights in Kenya. Now Kenya and the international community must work towards finding alternative solutions for refugees including local integration options.”

    Background

    In his ruling, Justice JM Mativo said the government’s orders were discriminatory and amounted to collective punishment. He also described the orders as excessive, arbitrary and disproportionate.

    February 07, 2017

    The Kenyan government must halt its crackdown on media freedom and allow Jerome Starkey to return to the country, said nine human rights organizations today, two months after the British journalist was detained and deported.

    The organizations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and PEN International, have sent a letter to Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Internal Affairs and Coordination of National Government Joseph Nkaissery, and other senior government officials, calling for Jerome Starkey to be allowed to return to Kenya to resume his work, and that the government publicly reaffirm its oft-expressed commitment to the right to freedom of expression and media freedom.

    “It’s a travesty that Jerome Starkey, a well-respected international journalist was detained and deported under questionable circumstances and is now no longer able to carry out his work in Kenya. But this is just one of many cases of media harassment and intimidation of journalists carried out by the Kenyan authorities,” said Justus Nyang’aya, Amnesty International Kenya Country Director.

    November 16, 2016

    In response to today’s announcement by Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government Joseph Nkaissery that plans to close down Dadaab refugee camp would be delayed by six months, Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, said:

    “While we welcome the Cabinet Secretary’s pledge that repatriations will be carried out in a humane, dignified manner, the announcement is not a change in policy. Thousands of refugees remain at risk of forced repatriation to a war-torn country with and where they are at risk of death or injury in the ongoing conflict.”

    “The Kenyan government must end its dogged determination to repatriate refugees against their will in contravention of international law and instead with donor support, embrace sustainable long-term solutions, including integration of the refugees into local communities. The international community must also share responsibility with Kenya by providing more resettlement places to the most vulnerable refugees.”

    November 14, 2016

    Just two weeks before the deadline given to close the Dadaab refugee camp, Kenyan government officials are deliberately coercing refugees to return to Somalia, where they risk being injured or killed in the ongoing armed conflict, Amnesty International said in a report released today.

    The government announced in May that it would close the world’s largest refugee camp, which is home to more than 280,000 mostly Somali refugees, citing security, economic and environmental concerns, in addition to lack of support by the international community. Since then, government officials have made statements in the media and visited the camp, threatening people to leave before the closure slated for 30 November 2016.

    “The refugees are caught between a rock and a hard place. Kenyan government officials are telling them they must leave by the end of the month or they will be forced to leave without any assistance,” said Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

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