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.
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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.
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I thank you.


Human Rights Defender of the month: Alex Njenga John

Alex Njenga has always believed in egalitarianism both as a principle and as a tool for justice. As a result, he has always been suspicious of, and at times hostile to social prejudices that treat some people as “more equal than others,” – to use a line from George Orwell’s famed political fable, Animal Farm.

Some of the experiences that have shaped his social and political outlook have been personal. As an adolescent in Kenya’s Uasin Gishu County, Alex was stigmatised and denied healthcare after he identified himself as belonging to Kenya’s sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) community.