Kenya: Human Rights Investigator Deported

Kenya: Human Rights Investigator Deported

Case Fits Trend of Silencing Critics of Counterterrorism Abuses

Nairobi – The deportation from Kenya of the human rights investigator Clara Gutteridge raises concerns about Kenya’s openness to scrutiny, the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP) and Human Rights Watch said today.

Gutteridge, a British citizen, was investigating counterterrorism-related rights violations in Kenya and Uganda as part of a fellowship for the Open Society Justice Initiative, and was entering the country at the invitation of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights. She was detained on May 10, 2011, at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta Airport when she tried to enter Kenya from Tanzania, where she had been investigating the arrests of Tanzanian suspects in the July 11, 2010 bombings in Kampala. Gutteridge was held overnight at the airport and deported to the United Kingdom on May 11. According to a document delivered to Gutteridge and signed by Immigration Minister Otieno Kagwang, Gutteridge was deported because her “presence in Kenya is contrary to national interest.” The order was dated March 22, 2011. To read the full statement click here.

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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.

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