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Amnesty International expresses deep concern at community reports this morning that the Kenya Urban Roads Authority is demolishing homes and businesses along the missing link road between Ngong and Lang'ata roads in Kibra under armed guards. "The demolitions and forced evictions betray the agreement reached by the Kenya Urban Roads Authority, the Kenya National Human Rights Commission and the National Lands Commission to undertake a rapid Resettlement Action Plan (RAP)," says Amnesty International Kenya Executive Director Irũngũ Houghton Under the agreement, the process of enumerating the thousands of inhabitants residing and working in four Kibra villages namely; Mashimoni, Lindi, Kambi Muru and Kisumu Ndogo began last week. This process is consistent with the legal provisions contained in the Internally Displaced Persons Act 2012 and Guidelines on Evictions for public consultations for a Resettlement Action Plan to be in place prior to an eviction.

"The goal of adequate and dignified housing cannot be met by stripping the 30,000 inhabitants of the only housing, shops, clinics and schools they have. Demolition prior to the completion of the Resettlement Action Plan betrays the public trust and violates our laws. These forced evictions must be halted." The ongoing demolitions in Kibra will render over 30,000 people homeless in violation of Kenya's national and international human rights obligations. Amnesty International is calling on the Government of Kenya to immediately stop the ongoing demolitions and complete the enumeration of all affected people and the resettlement action plan agreed upon last week.

(letzte Aktualisierung 26.07.2018)

Kenya: Authorities must stem communal violence and stop killings by police

November, 20 2017

The Kenyan government must take immediate steps to de-escalate tensions between communities, protect people and ensure their safety as opposition supporters protest against today's Supreme Court verdict upholding President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election, said Amnesty International.

Following the verdict, violence broke out in opposition strongholds including the Mathare and Kibera slums in Nairobi, and Migori and Kisumu in western Kenya.The violence came after the Supreme Court dismissed the two petitions that sought to invalidate the outcome of the 28 October presidential election re-run. Initial reports said four people were killed in the clashes.

A witness told Amnesty International that groups of young men in Kondele, Kisumu, were carrying out house searches today, looking for ethnic Kikuyu residents, harassing them and looting their homes. He said three groups tried to enter his compound and that his neighbour's gate was torn down and he and his family were forced to flee for their own safety. There were also media reports of an attempt by protesters to burn down Kondele Police Station.

"In the last days and months, the police have fired indiscriminately at crowds killing or injuring protesters. Kenya's police have a duty to protect people from violence, but they must do so in a way that respects both nationaland international law. This election has caused enough bloodshed. No more lives should be needlessly lost due to excessive use of force by the police,"said Justus Nyang'aya, Country Director at Amnesty International Kenya.

Amnesty International has confirmed that at least six people, including a 29-year-oldwoman and an 18-year-old man were killed in Nairobi a day before the ruling,in attacks that opposition supporters blamed on the police and an alleged pro-government militia. While the police have denied responsibility, their investigations into the incidents are under way.

On Friday, at least five people were killed when the police indiscriminately shot into crowds of supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga, gathered to welcome him home from a trip to the USA.

"Now that President Uhuru Kenyatta has been declared the winner, his priority must be to rein in the violence and ensure that all Kenyans are protectedand their rights respected. While police have a duty to maintain order,protesters must be allowed to freely and peacefully express themselves without fear of being shot at or harmed by the police. They must respect the international law requirement not to use firearms except to defend themselves or others under imminent threat of death or serious injury." said Justus Nyang'aya.

"If President Kenyatta is to succeed in healing the divisions generated by the polls, he must also ensure justice and accountability for the dozens of Kenyans killed or injured in the violence and as a result of excessive use of force by police that has marred this year's election cycle."

Dozens of people have been killed in election-related violence this year, at least 33 of them shot by the police.

Kenya: Ban on demonstrations must not legitimize police crackdowns

12 October 2017

Reacting to the Kenyan government's decision to ban demonstrations in the central business districts of the country's three main cities, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu, Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International's Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, said: "This ban, announced just two weeks ahead of a fraught repeat presidential election, is likely to become a basis for heavy-handed police crackdowns. This kind of outright ban is only justifiable in the most extreme circumstances where the police would otherwise be unable to ensure public order and safety. If people nevertheless continue to gather to protest, the Kenyan authorities must ensure that the police response complies with international law and standards on human rights and law enforcement.

In particular the police must seek to avoid the use of force, which they may use only where it is strictly necessary and to the extent required for enforcing the law. They must not use this ban as a green light to crack down violently on opposition supporters."

Announcing the ban in Nairobi today, Acting Internal Affairs Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i said it was in response to a "clear, present and imminent danger of a breach of peace and public order", and that the Inspector General of Police had been notified accordingly. The ban comes one day after the opposition National Super Alliance called for daily protests in its campaign for staff changes at the electoral commission.

Kenya: Investigate police killings of pro-opposition protesters

12 August 2017

The Kenyan authorities must investigate reports that police shot dead demonstrators protesting against the outcome of the presidential election last night, said Amnesty International today as protesters started gathering again in opposition strongholds. As celebrations began in pro-government areas after Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner of the presidential election, supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga poured onto the streets in parts of Nairobi and Kisumu to protest the outcome.

"The Independent Policing and Oversight Authority (IPOA) must immediately launch an independent and effective investigation into reported killings and where there is credible evidence of crimes, those responsible must be brought to justice," said Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International's Regional Director for East Africa,the Horn and the Great Lakes.

"Everyone has a right to peaceful protest and they must not be hurt, injured or killed for exercising that right."

Amnesty International has received credible information that one man was shot dead by police in Nairobi's Kibera slums and at least two others in Kisumu's Kondele area, while others were injured. There were also confrontations between police and protesters in Mathare and Kariobangi, both in Nairobi.

"Police must do everything necessary to protect life in these protests. They should prioritize dialogue and de-escalation, and only use force and firearms if all peaceful means fail, and only where necessary to protect life," said Muthoni Wanyeki,"Use of excessive and disproportionate force is forbidden under Kenyan and international law and must be avoided at all costs."

East Africa: Now is the time to stand up for media freedom

At a time when fake news is on the rise and robust and critical journalism is most acutely needed, the press in East Africa is facing growing challenges. Freedom of expression more generally is also at heightened risk as governments move to silence critical voices, both in mainstream and social media. Increased access to the internet has liberalized access to information, and contributed to the rise of individual digital advocates against government excesses, leading to attacks on journalists and bloggers. Some journalists, bloggers, and media workers have been beaten, arrested and abducted.

Last month, Kenyan journalist Isaiah Gwengi, of The Standard newspaper, was assaulted and arrested by police officers who accused him of inciting the public through his articles.

Journalist Yassin Juma was arrested in January 2016, and held under section 29 of Kenya Information and Communication Act (KICA) for posting on Facebook a photo of a Kenyan soldier allegedly killed in an attack on Kenyan peacekeepers in Somalia. Fortunately, KICA was declared unconstitutional by the High Court three months later.

Judith Akolo, a journalist with the public broadcaster, KBC, was questioned by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) for retweeting a comment by Patrick Safari (@moderncorps) pointing out that the Directorate of Criminal Investigation had advertised vacancies with a one-day applications deadline.

The good news is that there have been a few court successes in between, including the striking down of KICA. In February 2017, the High Court declared Section 194 of the Penal Code, which creates the offence of criminal defamation, unconstitutional. The court found the law, which imposes penalties of up to two years in prison for defamation, unnecessary, excessive, and unjustifiable in an open and democratic society, adding that it created a disproportionate limit on freedom of expression.

Quelle: Amnesty International Press Release

(Letzte Aktualisierung: 21. November 2017)