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Kenya’s human rights crisis: Urgent action needed

July 2, 2024

By Ronewa Jessica Mashamba

 

On the current crisis facing Kenya, the country has reached a critical point , with many human rights violations being reported, including killings, injuries, abductions, and arrests by state officers.

As of this week, at least 24 people have reportedlyu been killed by police, including a 12-year-old boy named Kennedy Onyango.

Additionally, 361 people have been injured, 627 arrested, and 32 abducted without proper procedures.

The Nationals Association of Kenya said: “Many of those abducted by state officers were not read the charges against them or booked into a police station. Tens have been held incommunicado and denied access to their families, legal representation and medical assistance”.

Lawyers have been threatened to drop cases, and journalists covering protests have had their cameras taken and were beaten.

Helpline operators and those managing legal and medical support funds have also faced difficulties.

In response to the ongoing crisis, the State House has announced a discussion to address the issues raised by the Youth for Kenya (Gen Z) protest movement.

The movement demands action against corruption, reducing the large government, improving essential services, punishing those who shot unarmed protesters, freeing people arrested without reason, and stopping extra judicial killings.

“Many of their demands, in our view, do not require policy dialogue but decisive executive action.

Decisive executive action, not a state-led national conversation, will restore this generation’s faith in the Kenyan state said the National associations.

They urged national and 47 county administrations to listen to and act upon the demands of Gen Z, who represent the majority of Kenyans and have the most significant stake in the country’s future.

The statement highlights the important role of professional groups in defending Kenya’s constitutional rights.

It urges authorities to cease harassing staff and disrupting vital services like legal and medical assistance.

Security officers were called upon to stop attacks on emergency facilities and personnel.

The government is urged to provide essential resources, ensure caregiver safety during protests, and cover medical costs for the injured.

The National Police Service is urged to respect constitutional rights during protests.

“We ask that the police and military strictly operate within the constitution and our bill of rights during the protests called for this week”.

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