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Kenya

    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.

    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.”    

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