Kenya : Confirmation of electoral irregularities while police shot down demonstrators

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Today, the Kenyans for Peace, Truth and Justice Initiative, a coalition of Kenyan independent NGOs amongst which FIDH member organisation, the Kenya Human Rights Commission is co-convenor, has issued a report confirming the electoral irregularities at the occasion of the presidential ballot of December 27, 2007.

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) strongly denounce these irregularities which contradict an array of human rights stipulated in Article 25 of the International Covenant on civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Article 13 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), various provisions of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, the Constitution of Kenya, and the National Assembly and Presidential Elections Act (Cap 16 Laws of Kenya).

Moreover, numerous extrajudicial and indiscriminate killings have been committed in the last two days during rallies called by the opposition party to protest the electoral irregularities. So far, according to governmental figures, 14 persons were killed as police fought with protesters. According various independant sources, amongst them, six persons were shot in Kisumu. Police shot a man in Nairobi’s Mathare North area. Another man was killed in Kibera while a third was burnt to death in a house in Nairobi’s Ruaraka area.
FIDH and KHRC qualify most of these killings as summary executions committed by police forces against unarmed protestors, notably by members of the General Service Unit, in violation of the right to life protected under section 71 of the Constitution of Kenya, Article 6 of the ICCPR and Article 4 of the ACHPR. Moreover, denial of freedom of assembly and peaceful protests is a violation of the rights of the Kenyan people.

FIDH and KHRC demand

The Kenyan Authorities

• to fully respect the right to life as well as the physical and psychological integrity of its citizens, including human rights defenders in accordance with the Constitution of Kenya and international human rights instruments ratified by Kenya;

• to respect the Declaration on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1998 ;

• to ensure that all individuals, including police officers, responsible for human rights violations be prosecuted;

• to ensure that the criminal complaint filed by representatives of the Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice Initiative against members of the Electoral Commission of Kenya is immediately followed by investigations and, if relevant, by prosecution.
Raila Odinga and Kibaki

• to call their supporters for calm and engage in genuine dialogue under the African Union mediation led by former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan;

The UN Security Council

• to condemn the electoral irregularities and post election violence which caused the death of more than 700 individuals and forced the displacement of more than 250,000 persons;

• to call for the immediate establishment of an international independent commission to investigate on the conditions of the electoral process and the post election violence and human rights violations in Kenya;

The African Union Heads of State and Government

• to condemn the electoral irregularities and post election violence and urgently call for political settlement of the crisis in Kenya and substainable peace.

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