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Kenya appeals court orders release of doctors' union leaders

[JURIST] A judge for the Court of Appeals [official website] in Kenya on Wednesday ordered the release of seven officials of the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists' Union (KMPDU) [official website] who were jailed earlier this week due to an ongoing strike. The decision of the court also mandates [East African report] that they resume negotiations with the government to be presented to the court on February 23. The doctors want the government to honor agreements the government made in 2013, including [DW report] a 150 to 180 percent increase in salaries, better working conditions, and to address under-staffing in hospitals.

The leaders of the doctors' union were sentenced [JURIST report] on Monday to one month in prison over the ongoing strike. The strike began in December over pay and service conditions. In January a Kenyan court ordered doctors to end the strike [JURIST report] or risk being sent to jail. Kenya has faced criticism for its treatment of protesters, though this strike has been peaceful. In November a group of UN human rights experts condemned reported violence [JURIST report] against anti-corruption protesters and journalists in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.

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