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Attacks against civil society in Kenya must stop

Nairobi, Kenya, August 16, 2017/.. International Center for Policy and Conflict (ICPC)[1] strongly condemn the current, unprecedented crackdowns on independent human rights NGOs and their members in Kenya. These developments are chilling in their implications set a dangerous precedent.

The Constitution of Kenya 2010 offered renewed hope and aspiration to the Kenyan people and to a country ravaged by many years of dictatorship, economic decay, corruption and human rights violations. Government of Kenya and its agencies are not only bound by this Constitution but has obligation to uphold, promote and defend it.

We would like to use this opportunity to affirm our solidarity with colleagues who have been directly affected by the recent developments. This is authoritarian political repression.

The systematic attack of Civil society by government of Kenya, police brutalizing and killing innocent Kenyans and constant  threats to independent media are not only unconstitutional but acts of declaration of ferocious political warfare  against freedom of expression, dissent and political rights. This is profoundly unfortunate, and is the last stage in an elaborate strategy of trying to render the poor, and their grievances, invisible.

We are also troubled by the actions taken by Kenyan authorities to deter and disperse peaceful demonstrations and arrest individuals protesting what they see as Government’s mounting persecution of civil society and unjustified restrictions of fundamental freedoms in the country.Such actions are clearly inconsistent with Kenya’s Constitution and obligation under international human rights law to respect the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

ICPC is fully convinced that the stigmatizing actions of the Uhuru Kenyatta government towards civil society organizations are completely unacceptable and unconstitutional. Only illegitimate governments that fear citizens and scorn to be held to account employ authoritarian tactics to survive. 

 As a key driver for safeguarding and promoting good governance and human rights, an independent civil society plays a crucial democratic role in a modern society. No Society without Civil Society. ICPC urge the Kenyan authorities to ensure a safe and enabling environment for human rights defenders and civil society, which play a critical role in holding the Government to account and bringing benefits of human rights to the whole of Kenya society.

 

Signed,

Ndung'u Wainaina,

Executive Director

 



[1] International Center for Policy and Conflict (ICPC) is Nairobi based non-profit, Independent, human rights public policy research, advocacy and education institute. Mission of  Achieving Human Security through inclusive economically, socially sustainable development and Human Rights through   research, evidence based advocacy and policy analysis/ dialogue, and  education on gender equality and sexual diversity; sustainable environment-friendly development and adaptability to climate; and sustaining regional peace, democratic governance and security; and competitive integrated regional trade and inclusive economic growth for tackling inequality and creating equal