Human rights in Kenya

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Human rights in Kenya are far better than in most of Africa[citation needed], though political freedom is still curtailed.

History[edit]

Kenyatta (1964-1978)[edit]

During the first post-independence presidency of Kenya, under President Jomo Kenyatta, state security forces harassed dissidents and were suspected of complicity in several murders of prominent personalities deemed as threats to his regime, including Pio Gama Pinto, Tom Mboya and J.M. Kariuki.[1] MP and Lawyer C.M.G. Argwings-Kodhek and former Kadu Leader and minister Ronald Ngala also died, in suspicious car accidents.[citation needed]

Moi (1978-2002)[edit]

The Daniel arap Moi administration consistently received international criticism of its record on human rights. Under Moi, security forces regularly subjected opposition leaders and pro-democracy activists to arbitrary arrest, detention without trial, abuse in custody, and deadly force.

International aid donors and governments such as the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Norway periodically broke off diplomatic relations and suspended aid allocations, pending human rights improvement.

Kibaki (since 2002)[edit]

Since 2002, under the Mwai Kibaki presidency, politically motivated human rights violations have diminished, but other serious human rights abuses persist, a great many at the hands of security forces, particularly the police. The police force is widely viewed as the most corrupt entity in the country, given to extorting bribes, complicity in criminal activity, and using excessive force against both criminal suspects and crowds. Most police who commit abuses still do so with impunity. Prison conditions remain life threatening.

Apart from police and penal system abuses, infringements of rights in the course of legal proceedings are widespread, despite recent pressure on judicial personnel[citation needed]. Freedom of speech and of the press continue to be compromised through various forms of harassment of journalists and activists[clarification needed]. Violence and discrimination against women are rife. The abuse of children, including in forced labor and prostitution, is a serious problem. Female genital mutilation (FGM) remains widespread, despite 2001 legislation against it for girls under 16. The abuse of women and girls, including early marriage and wife inheritance, is a factor in the spread of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS).

Kenya made some progress in 2003, when it set up a national human rights institution, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), with a mandate to ensure Kenya's compliance with international human rights standards. Also, parliament passed the Children's Act to ensure the protection of minors, as well as the Disability Act, outlawing discrimination against the disabled.

In November 2005 the Kenyan government banned rallies of opposition parties, rejecting calls for new elections. Vice President Moody Awori stated:

The government considers these calls for nationwide rallies inappropriate and a threat to national security [...]
Accordingly, the government will not allow the planned rallies and wananchi (citizens) are cautioned not to attend the meetings.

On 3 June 2007, two days after President Mwai Kibaki stated that Mungiki members "should expect no mercy", about 300 Mungiki members were arrested and at least 20 killed.[2] John Michuki, at the time Minister for Internal Security, publicly stated following the killings, "We will pulverize and finish them off. Even those arrested over the recent killings, I cannot tell you where they are today. What you will certainly hear is that so and so's burial is tomorrow".[2][3] In the KNCHR's Cry of Blood — Report on Extra-Judicial Killings and Disappearances published in September 2008,[2] the KNCHR reported these in their key finding "e)", stating that the forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings appeared to be official policy.[2]

In November 2008, WikiLeaks brought wide international attention[4] to The Cry of Blood. In the report, the KNCHR's first key finding "a)" was that "the evidence gathered by the KNCHR establishes patterns of conduct by the Kenya Police that may constitute crimes against humanity.[2]

On 5 March 2009, two of the human rights investigators involved in the investigations documented in the report, Oscar Kamau Kingara and John Paul Oulu, were assassinated.[4][5] Their assassinations were attributed by non-governmental organisations to the security forces.[5][6]

In 2009 and 2010, Samburu people suffers from severe human rights violation.[7]

Historical situation[edit]

The following chart shows Kenya's ratings since 1972 in the Freedom in the World reports, published annually by Freedom House. A rating of 1 is "free"; 7, "not free".[8]1

International treaties[edit]

Kenya's stances on international human rights treaties are as follows:

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

1.^ Note that the "Year" signifies the "Year covered". Therefore the information for the year marked 2008 is from the report published in 2009, and so on.
2.^ As of January 1.
3.^ The 1982 report covers the year 1981 and the first half of 1982, and the following 1984 report covers the second half of 1982 and the whole of 1983. In the interest of simplicity, these two aberrant "year and a half" reports have been split into three year long reports through interpolation.

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d e "'The Cry of Blood' — Report on Extra-Judicial Killings and Disappearances". Kenya National Commission on Human Rights/Enforced Disappearances Information Exchange Center. 2008-09-25. Archived from the original on 2010-12-28. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  3. ^ Untranslated original: Tutawanyorosha na tutawamaliza. Hata wenye wameshikwa kwa kuhusiana na mauaji ya hivi majuzi, siwezi nikakwambia wako wapi leo. Nyinyi tu mtakuwa mkisikia mazishi ya fulani ni ya kesho. See Cry of Blood reference.
  4. ^ a b WikiLeaks (2009-06-02). "WikiLeaks wins Amnesty International 2009 Media Award". WikiLeaks. Archived from the original on 2010-12-28. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  5. ^ a b McConnell, Tristan (2009-03-07). "Rights activist Oscar Kamau Kingara shot dead in central Nairobi". The Times. Archived from the original on 2010-12-28. Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  6. ^ "Wikileaks writers killed in Kenya". Hawai`i Free Press/WikiLeaks. 2009-03-09. Archived from the original on 2010-12-28. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  7. ^ Palmer, Paula; Chris Allan (20 April 2010). "Cultural Survival Releases Report on Human Rights Violations by Police in Samburu East and Isiolo Districts, Kenya". Cultural Survival. Retrieved Sep 16, 2013. 
  8. ^ Freedom House (2012). "Country ratings and status, FIW 1973-2012" (XLS). Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  9. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 1. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Paris, 9 December 1948". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  10. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 2. International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. New York, 7 March 1966". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  11. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 3. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. New York, 16 December 1966". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  12. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 4. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. New York, 16 December 1966". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  13. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 5. Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. New York, 16 December 1966". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  14. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 6. Convention on the non-applicability of statutory limitations to war crimes and crimes against humanity. New York, 26 November 1968". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  15. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 7. International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. New York, 30 November 1973". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  16. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 8. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. New York, 18 December 1979". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  17. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 9. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. New York, 10 December 1984". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  18. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 11. Convention on the Rights of the Child. New York, 20 November 1989". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  19. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 12. Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty. New York, 15 December 1989". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  20. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 13. International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families. New York, 18 December 1990". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  21. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 8b. Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. New York, 6 October 1999". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  22. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 11b. Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict. New York, 25 May 2000". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  23. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 11c. Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. New York, 25 May 2000". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  24. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 15. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. New York, 13 December 2006". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  25. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 15a. Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. New York, 13 December 2006". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  26. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 16. International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. New York, 20 December 2006". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  27. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 3a. Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. New York, 10 December 2008". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  28. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 11d. Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure . New York, 19 December 2011. New York, 10 December 2008". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 

External links[edit]