Kenya govt under attack over rights record

2014-04-23 14:34
Kenya's president Uhuru Kenyatta. (File, AFP)

Kenya's president Uhuru Kenyatta. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Nairobi - Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta's first year in office has been marked by a string of "worrisome cases" of rights infringements and by rampant impunity, two rights groups said in a report on Wednesday.

The Kenya Human Rights Commission( KHRC) and the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) said Kenyan authorities "have attempted to clamp down on dissenting voices, either through the adoption of restrictive legislation aimed at further regulating the NGO or media sectors".

The groups also condemned "violent police crackdown on demonstrators" and alleged "judicial harassment of protesters and human rights defenders".

The past year of the Jubilee coalition government of President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto "has been a period within which freedom of association and freedom of peaceful assembly have been constantly under threat," said KHRC director Atsango Chesoni.

"This undermining of these and other constitutional human rights gains must stop if Kenya is to truly follow the path of democracy and the rule of law," she added.

Anti-terrorism operations

The groups said rights violations have also been committed under the country's attempt to crackdown on Islamist militants, operations which have become a top national priority following last year's attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi.

The attack, which left at least 67 dead, was claimed by Somalia's al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab rebels and prompted a string of major security swoops in and around Nairobi and along the Muslim-majority coastal region.

"Under the guise of preserving the country's peace and security, authorities have conducted anti-terrorism operations which have, in some cases, been marred by serious human rights abuses," the groups said in a statement.

Kenyatta and Ruto, who are also both facing crimes against humanity charges at the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) over their role in post-2007 election violence, were also criticised for working actively to undermine the tribunal.

"Instead of fulfilling their obligation to ensure that victims of post-election violence get justice and redress, Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto have spent their entire first year in office actively undermining these non-derogable rights," FIDH President said.
Read more on:    al-shabaab  |  al-qaeda  |  uhuru kenyatta  |  william ruto  |  kenya  |  east africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.