Tag - Kenya ( 19 )

News | The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Issue 26) – February-March 2017

Mar 15 2017

Issue No. 26 of the Assembly and Association Briefing, the newsletter of Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. In this issue: • Kiai visits Geneva for final Human Rights Council session as Rapporteur • UN rights expert: ‘Fundamental right to strike must be preserved’ • Bangladesh: stop enforced disappearances • 10 Principles civil society guide: Advocate for better management of assemblies • Letter from the Rapporteur: Our fight isn’t just about closing space; it’s a ‘struggle for future of democracy’ • Maina Kiai releases annual report: 2016 in assembly & association rights • Experts urge Kenya to end crackdown on rights groups to ensure fair elections • Viet Nam: end detention of ‘Mother Mushroom’ • Burundi: UN experts raise alarm at growing repression of NGOs and human rights defenders • UN expert concerned about recurring violence against demonstrators in Belarus • Assembly & association rights: By the numbers • Special Rapporteur news in brief: February – March 2017 • World briefing: Assembly & association rights in the news For a link to the newsletter, click on the image at right or click here (1.7 MB file). To subscribe to our... Continue reading →

News | UN experts urge Kenya to end crackdown on rights groups to ensure fair elections

Feb 14 2017

GENEVA – Three United Nations human rights experts have called on the Government of Kenya to cease its systematic crackdown on civil society groups, which has intensified in the lead-up to national elections scheduled in August. “We are extremely alarmed at the increasing number of attacks on civil society as the elections draw closer,” said the UN Special Rapporteurs on freedoms of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai; on freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye; and on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst. “It appears that there is a systematic and deliberate pattern to crack down on civil society groups which challenge governmental policies, educate voters, investigate human rights abuses and uncover corruption. These issues are extremely important in a democracy, and attempting to shut down the debate taking place in the civic space threatens to irreparably taint the legitimacy of the upcoming elections,” they added.* The experts’ call comes just a month after the Interior Ministry called for the closure of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) deemed to be ‘not properly licensed’. A Government circular alleged the groups had been involved in ‘nefarious activities’ and claimed they posed a serious threat to national security including money... Continue reading →

News | The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 3, No. 7 (Issue 24) – October-November 2016

Nov 14 2016

Issue No. 24 of the Assembly and Association Briefing, the newsletter of Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. In this issue: • In final presentation to UN General Assembly, Special Rapporteur reflects on time in mandate; warns that situation for civil society remains ‘precarious’ • Corporate power undermining workers’ assembly and association rights, Kiai warns • Litigation project: Developments in cases in Kazakhstan, Brazil and USA • UN experts urge India to release prominent Kashmiri human rights defender • Democratic Republic of Congo: experts urge end to ‘unjustified’ ban on protests • Ethiopia: call for international investigation into systematic violence against protesters • Maina Kiai’s Foreword to the Civic Charter: the Framework for People’s Participation • Experts blast Kenya for excessive force against anti-corruption protesters • Mauritania: UN experts concerned about situation of jailed rights activists • Egypt NGO law: Special Rapporteur Kiai warns about growing restrictions on civil society • Iran: UN expert Shaheed calls for the immediate release of dual nationals • Assembly & association rights: By the numbers • Special Rapporteur news in... Continue reading →

News | UN experts criticize Kenya police for excessive use of force against peaceful protesters

Nov 10 2016

GENEVA – A group of UN human rights experts* has condemned a violent clampdown on a peaceful protest in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, while urging the authorities to investigate claims of excessive use of force and arbitrary arrest – both against demonstrators and journalists – and to hold all perpetrators accountable. The demonstrators were protesting against alleged government corruption when police used teargas and batons to disperse them. A number of people are reported to have been injured or detained during the incident on 3 November. “Interference with the right to freedom of peaceful assembly is inexcusable at any time, but it is especially repugnant when demonstrators are calling for government accountability,” the experts said. “Protesters may sometimes raise uncomfortable truths, but holding people in power to account is a central function of peaceful assemblies in a democracy.” The experts also expressed alarm at the timing of the crackdown, less than a year before Kenyans elect a new president in August 2017. They said creating an environment where opinions could be expressed peacefully was key to avoiding a repeat of the wave of violence which followed the disputed presidential poll in 2007. “Beating protesters does not make their grudges go away. Rather, it... Continue reading →

News | The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 3, No. 5 (Issue 22) – July-August 2016

Aug 23 2016

Issue No. 22 of the Assembly and Association Briefing, the newsletter of Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. In this issue: • USA visit: Inequality casts dark shadow over assembly and association rights • UN experts urge Turkey to adhere to its human rights obligations even in time of declared emergency • Bill threatens expressive freedom in Maldives, expert warns • Israel: UN experts caution against NGO law • Rights experts condemn killing of Cambodian political analyst Kem Ley • “End police impunity” – alarm over pattern of extrajudicial killings in Kenya • Bahrain urged to end ‘systematic’ persecution of Shia • Expert urges Thailand to ensure free debate ahead of constitutional referendum • China: stop ill-treatment of Guo Feixiong • Assembly & association rights: By the numbers • Special Rapporteur news in brief: July-August 2016 • World briefing: Assembly & association rights in the news For a link to the newsletter, click on the image at right or click here (3.4MB file). To subscribe to our newsletter, please drop us a line at info@freeassembly.net with the subject line “subscribe to newsletter.” For other recent newsletters, see the links... Continue reading →

News | “High time to end police impunity” – UN experts raise alarm at on-going pattern of extrajudicial killings in Kenya

Jul 28 2016

GENEVA – A group of United Nations human rights experts, including Maina Kiai, today expressed deep concern about the on-going pattern of extrajudicial executions in Kenya. They urged the Government to put an end to police violence and ensure accountability for the perpetrators. The experts’ call comes as four police officers are charged with the murder of human rights lawyer Willie Kimani, his client Josephat Mwenda, and their driver, Joseph Muiruri, in the latest high-profile case in a long list of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings in Kenya. “The recent murder of a well-known lawyer and human rights defender is having a dramatic and detrimental impact on civil society, especially on those active in the field of human rights,” the experts noted. “It is urgent for the Government of Kenya to address the apparent structural and systemic motives behind police brutality.” The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights documented a pattern of widespread and systematic human rights violations which include extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, as well as arbitrary arrests, extortion, arbitrary detention and torture, in a 2015 preliminary report about alleged human rights violations by police and other security agencies in relation to counter-terrorism... Continue reading →

News | The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 3, No. 4 (Issue 21) – May-June 2016

Jun 21 2016

Issue No. 21 of the Assembly and Association Briefing, the newsletter of Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. In this issue: • Kiai tells Human Rights Council that fundamentalist intolerance is degrading assembly & association rights • Kenya: UNSR tells court that 2015 protest ban violated assembly rights • Contribute to the UNSR’s next report: FoAA rights in the context of labor • Human rights must gain new momentum at World Humanitarian Summit • Problem of closing civic space creeps into UN NGO Committee • Rapporteurs urge India to repeal law restricting NGO’s access to foreign funding • UN expert deplores harsh sentencing of Tajikistan opposition leaders and warns of radicalization • Egypt: Worsening crackdown on protests • UN human rights experts urge Cambodia to stop attacks against civil society • Iran: Denial of adequate medical treatment to political prisoners unacceptable • ‘A travesty of justice’ – UN experts condemn conviction of prominent Iran activist • China: Newly adopted Foreign NGO Law should be repealed, UN experts urge • Somalia: Experts alarmed over growing persecution against trade unionists • Kazakhstan clampdown on land reform... Continue reading →

News | Kenya: UN expert tells Court that ban on 2015 protest near President’s residence violated assembly rights

May 27 2016

NAIROBI – Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai has filed an amicus curiae brief before the High Court of Kenya in Nairobi, arguing that protesters’ assembly rights were violated when they were prevented from staging an anti-corruption protest in front of the President’s official residence in 2015. The protesters, led by activist Boniface Mwangi – who is the petitioner in the case – planned to march from a nearby park to the residence, where they would present a petition acting the President to act firmly on the issue of corruption. The march was to take place on International Day Against Corruption, Dec. 9, 2015. The group notified authorities of their proposed route, but the request to march to Gate A of State House, the presidential residence, was denied. No reasons were provided. In his brief, the Special Rapporteur asserts that international law protects the right of protest organizers to choose the location of their assembly – whether it is static or mobile. Thus, any restriction imposed on the location must meet the stringent requirements under international law for “legitimate restrictions” to the right to freedom of peaceful assembly. That is, they must be: (1) in conformity with the law; (2) designed with a legitimate government aim in mind; and (3) necessary in a democratic... Continue reading →

Report | Kenya communications: May 1, 2011 to February 28, 2016

Feb 28 2016

This page summarizes cases raised with Kenya by the Special Rapporteur between May 1, 2011, (when the Special Rapporteur took up his functions) and February 28, 2016 (the date of the last public release of communications). Communications are released to the public once per year. This page also contains observations on these communications and on responses received from Kenya. Communications and observations are divided into sections based upon which observation report they originally appeared. Each communication is referenced as urgent appeal (UA), allegation letter (AL), joint urgent appeal (JUA) and joint allegation letter (JAL) - the hyperlinks lead to these documents. This is followed by the date the communication was issued, as well as the case number and the State reply (also hyperlinked if available). Summaries and communications are published only in the language of submission (in the case of Kenya, English). First Report (May 1, 2011 to March 15, 2012) None. Second Report (March 16, 2012 to February 28, 2013) Joint urgent appeal, 15/08/2012. Case no. KEN 1/2012. State Reply: None to date. Alleged threats against human rights defenders, including death threats and surveillance. Other letter, 27/08/2012. Case no. KEN 3/2012. State Reply: None to date. Alleged landmark decision of... Continue reading →

News | The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 1, Issue 6 (July-August 2014)

Aug 01 2014

Issue No. 6 of the Assembly and Association Briefing, the newsletter of Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. In this issue: • Special Rapporteur prepares to tackle multilateral institutions in October 2014 report • “Kiai Comments” – a new way to support assembly and association rights on your website • Special Rapporteur: Targeting at-risk groups a reprehensible “divide and conquer” technique • Egypt: UN Experts “outraged” at confirmation of 183 death sentences • Maina Kiai in Burundi on unofficial academic visit • Kiai blasts UN-Kenya for favoring ‘stability’ over rights • Freedom of association and assembly: By the numbers • Special rapporteur news in brief: June and July 2014 • World briefing: Freedom of assembly and association in the news For a link to the newsletter, click on the image at right or click here (1.4 MB file) or here (7.8 MB full resolution file). To subscribe to our newsletter, please drop us a line at info@freeassembly.net with the subject line “subscribe to newsletter.” For other recent newsletters, see the links below: The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 1, Issue 3 (April 2014) The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 1, Issue 4 (May 2014) The Assembly... Continue reading →