Kenya: Amnesty International Urges National Dialogue Committee to Address Key Human Rights Concerns

9 September 2023

Nairobi — Amnesty International, along with other human rights lobbying groups, has submitted a memorandum to the ongoing National Dialogue Committee (NDC) outlining five pressing issues of concern that need to be addressed urgently.

These concerns are expected to be tabled for discussion during the Azimio-Kenya Kwanza peace talks.

Irungu Houghton, the Director of Amnesty International Kenya, emphasized the need for the NDC to prioritize independent investigations into unlawful use of lethal police force, extra-judicial executions, enforced disappearances, and the significant delays in achieving justice for those seeking police accountability.

"We welcome the National Dialogue Committee's decision to invite Memoranda on Issues of Concern to the People of Kenya. We submit this memorandum to the Committee with the hope of finding a long-lasting solution," said Irungu.

Amnesty International is urging the NDC to conduct fact-finding missions in regions most affected by the issues highlighted in their memorandum. They also expressed their commitment to supporting the development of a schedule for community dialogues in collaboration with the Social Justice Working Group, a network of community-based legal aid centers, and the Missing Voices Alliance.

Amnesty International has also called upon the National Assembly to expedite the implementation of the Prevention of Torture Act and the National Coroners Service Act, both of which were enacted and signed into law in 2017. They noted that the regulations for these laws have yet to be developed.

According to Amnesty International Kenya, the implementation of these two critical laws would contribute to the reduction of human rights violations by improving the accuracy of forensic evidence.

"We call on the Committee to remind the Attorney General and the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government of their legal obligation to gazette regulations for the Prevention of Torture Act and the National Coroners Service Act and set aside adequate funding for the establishment of the National Coroners Service Secretariat and Council," stated Irungu.

The National Dialogue Committee, tasked with resolving political conflicts between the Azimio Opposition Coalition and the Kenya Kwanza government, will conclude the process of receiving public memoranda from experts and members of the public next Monday.

Earlier, the Bipartisan Committee, led by National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung'wah, and Kalonzo Musyoka leading the Azimio delegation, signed a framework agreement to pave the way for the official talks, which have yet to begin.

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