AI wants Kenya to stop forced evictions

May 24, 2012 3:38 pm


A resident of Eastleigh with her belongings after bulldozers demolished buildings that were near the Moi Air Base in November, 2011
NAIROBI, Kenya, May 24 – Amnesty International (AI) wants the government to immediately enforce a moratorium on forced evictions until proper policies are put in place to guide it.

AI Kenya Director Justus Nyang’aya said this should be done to protect the human rights of the affected people.

Speaking to Capital FM News ahead of the release of a global annual report on state of human rights, Nyang’aya said destruction of property through forced evictions destroys the faith people have in a government.

“That moratorium can be as short as one month or one year. Prime Minister Raila Odinga recently made a statement to the effect that all forced evictions are stopped in the informal settlements until we come up with that policy but I don’t know if his was a political or executive direction,” Nyang’aya said.

“We want the president to declare the moratorium,” he insisted.

He said the report highlighted different human rights issues in 155 countries and in Kenya, it focused on forced evictions, impunity, international justice, refugees and vulnerable populations.

“People need to be treated in a dignified way. Human rights are not privileges. Issues of impunity must be brought down and must be done away with and these are the issues that are actually creating problems and this is centrally the role of government that it needs to slay impunity,” the AI Kenya boss stated.

He said impunity could lead to anarchy if government does not take action on crimes committed against the citizenry.

On the issue of International justice, Nyang’aya said the International Criminal Court (ICC) process involving four Kenyans accused of bearing the greatest responsibility in the post election violence of 2008 should continue unhindered.

“We looked at the reaction of the government and it asking the ICC to bring the cases back to Kenya, it is a promise Kenya has made that they can try them at home but ICC, the international community and even Kenyans don’t want to rely on the promise of trying to do something, people want justice because people suffered and families were displaced,” he noted.

In the global report, Amnesty International also looked at the impact of protests across the globe and the change they had brought.

“A government can only function well if there are watchdogs and not necessarily watchdogs that are created by government but also by people themselves,” he said.


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