The concerted campaign of political interference by the Kenyan government with the judicial independence of the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Assembly of State Parties this week is a shocking indictment of the lengths the country will go to deny justice to the victims of horrific crimes committed during the post-election violence of 2008, said Amnesty International today.
Kenya effectively attempted to blackmail the Assembly of State Parties (ASP), the political oversight body of the ICC, to acceded to demands which would undermine the trial of the country’s Deputy President, William Samoei Ruto, by threatening to withdraw from the ICC. While the proposal was defeated, the fact that the Assembly came perilously close to buckling to the threats from Kenya is a stark warning for the future.
“It is deplorable that this effort was undertaken to protect a single individual – Kenya’s current Deputy President. The attempt by Kenya to interfere with cases before the ICC is shocking,” said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Regional Research and Advocacy Director for Africa.