NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 14 – Kenya is not yet free of human rights violations especially by State agencies led by the police and military, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights has said.
In a report to President Uhuru Kenyatta, KNCHR complains that members of the public and more so those suspected of having links to terror groups have continued to be exposed to violations such as arbitrary arrests, extortion, illegal detention, torture, killings and enforced disappearances.
KNCHR Chairperson Kagwiria Mbogori says while making his State of the Nation Address on Wednesday, President Kenyatta should direct security forces to strictly operate within the rule of law.
“The Commission has received multiple narratives of suspects being rounded up and detained for long periods of time in extremely overcrowded, inhumane and degrading conditions. Many have reported being tortured while in detention and sustaining serious physical and psychological harm,” she said.
“Such incidents cause serious mental and economic hardships to the families of victims.”
Among other demands the Commission has made include calling for the passing of Prevention of Torture and Coroners Bills into law and immediate cessation of detention of civilians in military custody.
“We urge Your Excellency to rally recognition of and support for survivors and victims’ families, as a show of solidarity with the suffering they have endured,” she appealed.
She has further urged the President to operationalise the Sh10 billion Restorative Justice Fund, which was to be made available after his 2015 State of the Nation Address, where he made a public apology to the victims of past historical injustices.
She said despite the promise by President Kenyatta the fund remains just that, saying continued delay for the implementation of the fund, “is at the expense of thousands of survivors and victims who continue to suffer immense neglect and indeed feel traumatized.”
– CORRUPTION –
The commission has called for more effort in eliminating graft, which remains a major challenge to the Jubilee Government.
According to Mbogori, corruption and human rights are interlinked, “in that there is a cause and effect relationship: where corruption prevails, human rights abuses and violations will follow.”
“Despite this robust framework, corruption in Kenya has continued to thrive occasioned by lack of effective prosecution of corruption cases. As a result, colossal sums of money are irregularly withdrawn from national and county government coffers and end up in private and individuals hands.”