24 April 2014

Kenyatta, Ruto Administration Undermining Human Rights, Report Says

Photo: Julius Kithuure/ Sabahi Online
Kenya Police man a check point at Kasarani stadium where thousands are being held in the Eastleigh terror crackdown in Nairobi.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto have spent their first year in office undermining civil rights and operating with "rampant impunity", two human rights groups alleged Wednesday (April 23rd).

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 [non-governmental organisation] or media sectors."

The groups also condemned "violent police crackdowns on demonstrators" and alleged "judicial harassment of protesters and human rights defenders", AFP reported.

The first year of Jubilee governance "has been a period within which freedom of association and freedom of peaceful assembly have been constantly under threat," KHRC Director Atsango Chesoni said. "The undermining of these and other constitutional rights gains must stop if Kenya is to truly follow the path of democracy and the rule of law."

The report also criticised Kenyatta's and Ruto's lack of co-operation with the International Criminal Court, where they are both facing charges related to post-2007 election violence.

"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 Karim Lahidji said. "It is time for them to uphold Kenya's constitution and its international obligations."

The groups also criticised Kenya's recent security crackdown on illegal immigrants and other criminals.

"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," said the report.

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