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Kenya

    October 01, 2013

    Kenya must drop calls to force hundreds of thousands of refugees to return to Somalia where ongoing armed conflict would put their lives and security at risk, Amnesty International said today.

    It follows calls from the Kenyan MP Ndung'u Gethenji, head of the Parliament’s defence committee, to clear Somali refugees from camps in northern Kenya. He said they are used as "training ground" by armed groups such as al-Shabab.

    “Returning refugees to Somalia, where all parties to the conflict, including al-Shabab, continue to carry out attacks against civilians, would only make matters worse and would be in violation of international law. Instead, authorities in Kenya must protect those living in a vulnerable situation in refugee camps,” said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s deputy Africa director.

    The call follows last month’s attack on a shopping mall in the Kenyan capital Nairobi. The Somali armed group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.

    September 23, 2013

    The Somali-based Islamist armed group al-Shabab’s blatant disregard for life in its attack on a Nairobi shopping centre on Saturday is a despicable affront to basic human rights, Amnesty International said.

    “Amnesty International stands in solidarity with the people of Kenya in the wake of these callous and despicable attacks,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

    “Our thoughts and sympathy go out to all those affected by this violence. We welcome President Uhuru Kenyatta’s commitment to investigate the attack and bring the perpetrators to account.

    “We urge the Kenyan authorities to ensure that the investigations are prompt, thorough, independent and impartial. Any suspects arrested should be brought to trial in line with international standards.”

    Among those reportedly killed was the renowned Ghanaian poet and former diplomat, Dr. Kofi Awoonor. Amnesty International had campaigned on the poet’s politically motivated trial in the mid-1970s.

    September 09, 2013

    The Kenyan authorities must cooperate fully with the International Criminal Court (ICC) to ensure justice is done for the victims of the 2007-8 post-election violence, Amnesty International said today ahead of the opening in The Hague of the trial of Deputy President William Ruto and broadcaster Joshua arap Sang.

    “The start of the ICC trial is an important opportunity to end impunity for the serious crimes committed in 2007/2008. Kenya must cooperate fully with the ICC and support its work to ensure a fair and effective process for the defendants, victims and witnesses, and for the Kenyan people,” said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Africa programme director.

    “Six years after post-election violence rocked the country, it is high time to prioritize the pursuit of justice for the hundreds and thousands of people who lost their lives or homes.”

    September 05, 2013

    Following the Kenyan parliament’s vote to withdraw from the International Criminal Court today, Amnesty International said:

    “Today’s vote is a disturbing attempt to deny justice to the hundreds of thousands of people who were driven from their homes or killed in the post election violence in 2007-8,” said Netsanet Belay, Africa Director at Amnesty International.

    “It is unacceptable to try and protect those facing prosecution for alleged crimes against humanity and allow them to evade justice. This also sets a dangerous precedent for the future of justice in Africa.”

    The Kenyan parliament’s vote came days before Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto was due to stand trial in The Hague accused of crimes against humanity after post-election violence rocked the country in 2007-8.

    Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta also faces serious charges; his trial is due to start on November 12.

    For further information, please contact Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations, 416-363-9933 ext 332 bberton-hunter@amnesty.ca

     

    September 04, 2013

    The Kenyan government’s proposal to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) Statute is an affront to the hundreds of thousands of Kenyans who lost their lives or were driven from their homes during the post-election violence that rocked the country in 2007-8.

    “This move is just the latest in a series of disturbing initiatives to undermine the work of the ICC in Kenya and across the continent,” said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Africa programme director.

    The proposal, which will be debated in an emergency parliamentary session on Thursday, comes just days before Kenya’s vice president William Ruto will stand trial in The Hague accused of crimes against humanity. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta also faces serious charges; his trial is due to start on November 12.

    “Amnesty International calls on each and every parliamentarian to stand against impunity and reject this proposal.”

    July 30, 2013

    Attempts by the Kenyan government to water-down key reforms to regulate the country’s police force will allow human rights violations to continue and officers to act with impunity, Amnesty International warned today.

    Amendments to a police reform package are likely to be debated in Parliament this week. It was originally introduced to ensure that serious human rights violations committed by the Kenyan police force during the 2007/2008 post-election violence could never be repeated.

    However amendments proposed by the Inspector General of Police, and endorsed by the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and National Co-ordination, would severely weaken the reforms and eliminate many of the safeguards created to discipline and regulate the police force.

    “These reforms are vital for Kenya and it would be disastrous if they get diluted at the eleventh hour,” said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Africa.

    May 27, 2013

    by The Campaign Team
    Responding to Urgent Actions and Individuals at Risk

    Please join us in taking action on this crisis facing 400 families in Kenya. Amnesty is asking activists around the world to mobilize on behalf of residents of City Carton who were forcibly evicted on May 10, 2013 from an informal settlement in the capital, Nairobi.

    On May 17 their homes were completely demolished. They are homeless and in urgent need of food, water and adequate accommodation. Police, who were providing security for the eviction, used live ammunition and teargas. Further evictions are expected in the neighbouring settlement, Opendo.

    May 24, 2013

     

    The African Union (AU) must throw out the resolution tabled by the Kenyan government calling for the International Criminal Court's (ICC) case to be referred for trial in Kenya, Amnesty International has urged.

    President Kenyatta and Vice-President Ruto are accused of crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the violence which followed the disputed December 2007 election and left more than 1,000 people dead and half a million displaced. The crimes set out in the decision of the Pre-Trial Chamber of the ICC include murder, forcible transfer of population, rape, persecution and other inhuman acts.

    “The African Union must reject Kenya’s attempts to shield its leaders from being held to account for the human rights violations that took place in Kenya in 2007-2008,” said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Africa Programme Director.

    January 30, 2013

    Violence in the aftermath of the 2007 Kenyan elections which claimed 1,300 lives shows just how vital it is Kenyan police are properly prepared ahead of polls this March, Amnesty International said in a new report, Police Reform in Kenya: “A Drop in the Ocean”.

    The report details how delays in implementing new laws on policing mean that many of the same police structures in place during 2007-8 post-election violence will responsible for security for
    the 4 March vote.

    “With five weeks to go to the elections the Kenyan authorities must show the political will and take urgent measures to prevent human rights abuses during the election period.” said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Africa Program Director. 

    One government official told Amnesty International that new laws and equipment introduced since 2008 are just a “drop in the ocean”.

    The report documents continued human rights violations by the police, despite ongoing reform, including arbitrary arrests and ill-treatment.

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