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Kenya

    April 01, 2019

    Amnesty International Kenya welcomes the decision by the three-judge bench to uphold the right to privacy of citizens and to stop the mandatory collection of information under the new National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) also known as “Huduma Namba”.

    “Kenya’s mandatory biometric registration system legal framework poses a massive risk to the right to privacy of citizens, foreign nationals and refugees living in the country. Parliament should swiftly repeal the invasive sections and expedite the National Taskforce’s Data Protection Bill to bring forth a legal framework for safeguarding personal data” said Irũngũ Houghton, Amnesty International Kenya’s Executive Director.

    “No country in the world has passed a law enabling it to collect DNA samples and biometric data from its entire population without even a basic legal framework for data protection. There must be concrete safeguards for data storage, security and independent oversight of the system.”

    February 12, 2019

    Kenyan Court Drops Oversight

    The Kenyan police and the South Sudanese authorities should ensure effective, transparent and impartial investigations into the enforced disappearance of two South Sudanese critics in Nairobi more than two years ago, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today.

    On January 17, 2019, a Kenyan High Court ended its 24-month oversight of the police investigation into the disappearances of Dong Samuel Luak, a prominent South Sudanese lawyer and human rights activist, and Aggrey Idri, a member of the political opposition. They were snatched off the streets of Nairobi on January 23 and 24, 2017 respectively. The families had initiated the petition for judicial review following concerns that the Kenyan Police had not effectively investigated.

    January 16, 2019

    Amnesty International Kenya joins other Kenyans and persons of good will around the world in expressing shock and outrage at the attacks that deliberately targeted and caused damage to lives and property at 14 Riverside Drive, Nairobi, this afternoon.

    According to media reports, the insurgent group Al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attacks. If the intention of the attackers is to intimidate and create fear among Kenyans, this will have the opposite result. Kenyans shall rally as they have done in the past to protect their constitutional rights and freedoms. We urge the security agencies to promptly and effectively arrest, investigate and bring to trial all responsible.

    Amnesty International Kenya acknowledges the rapid response of the security agencies and emergency care providers to save lives and evacuate all affected in this attack. Tomorrow, Amnesty International Kenya staff and supporters shall donate blood for those that need it.

    We extend to the families of the bereaved, our heartfelt condolences and to the country, our expression of courage, solidarity and calm resolve in this difficult time.

    Kenya shall prevail.

    August 30, 2018

    Kenyans will be able to share information about police extra-judicial killings and abductions in real time, using a new online portal designed to help human rights organizations hold the authorities to account, Amnesty International said as the world marks the International Day of Victims of Enforced Disappearances.

    “Hundreds of people are arrested every year in what are termed as crime-busting police swoops, but many so-called suspects are never presented in court or charged with any crime. The next thing that usually happens is that they are found dead, their bodies callously dumped somewhere. Others are disappeared without a trace,” said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

    “It is unconscionable that scores of families have been made to live in agony at the hands of those meant to protect and defend them; not knowing where their loved ones are; whether they are alive or dead, and if dead, where their bodies are.”

    July 23, 2018

    Amnesty International expresses deep concern at community reports this morning that the Kenya Urban Roads Authority is demolishing homes and businesses along the missing link road between Ngong and Lang’ata roads in Kibra under armed guards.

    “The demolitions and forced evictions betray the agreement reached by the Kenya Urban Roads Authority, the Kenya National Human Rights Commission and the National Lands Commission to undertake a rapid Resettlement Action Plan (RAP),” says Amnesty International Kenya Executive Director Irũngũ Houghton.

    Under the agreement, the process of enumerating the thousands of inhabitants residing and working in four Kibra villages namely; Mashimoni, Lindi, Kambi Muru and Kisumu Ndogo began last week. This process is consistent with the legal provisions contained in the Internally Displaced Persons Act 2012 and Guidelines on Evictions for public consultations for a Resettlement Action Plan to be in place prior to an eviction.

    May 09, 2018

    Over 60 heavily armed police officers ambushed residents of the City Carton informal settlement near Wilson Airport this morning, and oversaw the demolition of the homes of more than 250 families. Bulldozers flattened all houses and left over 1,000 people homeless. 

    The residents of the City Carton informal settlement were on 11 April served with a 14-day notice to vacate from their homes. They have since been living in great anxiety with no information whether they would be resettled.

    March 28, 2018

    Reacting to the Kenyan authorities’ refusal to let pro-opposition lawyer Miguna Miguna into the country to participate in a judicial proceeding concerning him; and to police beating journalists who turned out to cover Miguna’s return to Kenya at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Amnesty International Kenya’s Executive Director Irungu Houghton said:

    “The way Miguna was treated showed blatant disregard for his human rights, after the High Court ordered that he be allowed to re-enter the country. The Kenyan government must also respect and protect the right to freedom of expression and allow journalists to freely report on the case without harassment, intimidation or attacks.

    February 22, 2018
    Amnesty International publishes State of the World’s Human Rights report for 2017 to 2018 “Last year our world was immersed in crises, with prominent leaders offering us a nightmarish vision of a society blinded by hatred and fear. This emboldened those who promote bigotry, but it inspired far more people to campaign for a more hopeful future,” says Salil Shetty, head of Amnesty International

    The world is reaping the terrifying consequences of hate-filled rhetoric that threatens to normalize massive discrimination against marginalized groups, Amnesty International warned today as it launched its annual assessment of human rights.

    Nevertheless, the organization found that a growing movement of both first-time and seasoned activists campaigning for social justice provides real hope of reversing the slide towards oppression.

    The report, The State of the World’s Human Rights, covers 159 countries and delivers the most comprehensive analysis of the state of human rights in the world today.

    December 21, 2017

    Thousands of Somali refugees who were pressured into leaving the Dadaab camp in Kenya are now facing drought, starvation and renewed displacement in Somalia, Amnesty International said today.

    Returns to Somalia from Dadaab have massively accelerated since the Kenyan government announced plans to close the camp in May 2016. In a new briefing, Not Time to Go Home, Amnesty International researchers interviewed returnees living in dire conditions in overcrowded cities or displacement camps in Somalia. Many returnees said they had left Dadaab because of dwindling food rations and services, or because of fears, stoked by Kenyan government officials, that they would be forced back with no assistance.

    “In its zeal to return refugees the Kenyan government has made much of small security improvements in Somalia, but the grim reality is that many parts of the country are still plagued by violence and poverty,” said Charmain Mohamed, Head of Refugee and Migrants Rights at Amnesty International.

    December 14, 2017

    Commenting after the Kenyan Supreme Court declared mandatory death sentencing unconstitutional, Oluwatosin Popoola, Amnesty International’s Adviser on the Death Penalty, said:

    November 20, 2017

    The Kenyan government must take immediate steps to de-escalate tensions between communities, protect people and ensure their safety as opposition supporters protest against today’s Supreme Court verdict upholding President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election, said Amnesty International.

    Following the verdict, violence broke out in opposition strongholds including the Mathare and Kibera slums in Nairobi, and Migori and Kisumu in western Kenya. The violence came after the Supreme Court dismissed the two petitions that sought to invalidate the outcome of the 28 October presidential election re-run. Initial reports said four people were killed in the clashes.

    A witness told Amnesty International that groups of young men in Kondele, Kisumu, were carrying out house searches today, looking for ethnic Kikuyu residents, harassing them and looting their homes. He said three groups tried to enter his compound and that his neighbour’s gate was torn down and he and his family were forced to flee for their own safety. There were also media reports of an attempt by protesters to burn down Kondele Police Station.

    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 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.

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