HRC36: Kenya – Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention

Human Rights Council: 36th Session
Item 4: General Debate – Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention

Oral Intervention
Delivered on 19 September 2017 by Ludivine Lecat

Thank you Mr. President.

The East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project and the National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders – Kenya bring to your attention the challenging situation of Kenyan human rights defenders, as the country prepares for a new presidential election in October.

Sadly, the aftermath of the 8 August 2017 vote was again marred by violence. Police responded to isolated protests with excessive force, invading and looting private properties, and killing at least 24 people, according to a local rights group.

The Coalition documented 26 cases of violations against human rights monitors and journalists from April to September, including reports of harassment, intimidation, malicious prosecution, arbitrary arrest, assault, confiscation or destruction of equipment, and summary executions.

On 14 August, Kenya’s NGO Coordination board moved to deregister the Kenya Human Rights Commission and the African Centre for Open Governance without any regard for due process, after they had played a key role in demanding a transparent election.

After the historic ruling by the Kenyan Supreme Court to annul the results of the 8 August Presidential elections, it is paramount that human rights defenders are allowed to play a constructive role in ensuring free, fair, and transparent elections without fear of reprisals.

I thank you.


Human Rights Defender of the month: Kasale Maleton Mwaana

Kasale’s human rights activism precedes his years. The son of pastoralist parents from Ngorongoro district in northern Tanzania, he grew up seeing his parents and entire community having to defend their land and way of life against authorities who thought their lands could be put to better use. Now, at 25, Kasale is already one of the most recognizable advocates of his people’s cause, much to the ire of Tanzanian authorities.
“Our people’s struggle goes back many generations. It started with the pushing out of our forefathers from Serengeti to gazette Serengeti National Park in 1959, and then further evictions from the Ngorongoro crater to gazette the Ngorongoro conservation area in 1975. Since then, every generation has had to resist further evictions. It’s now my generation’s turn,” he says.