HRW urges Kenya to investigate human rights violations
HRW urges Kenya to investigate human rights violations

Since the Kenyan presidential election on August 8, more than 12 people have been killed and more than 100 have been badly injured due to serious human rights violations [HRW report], Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported Monday. Following the announcement of Uhuru Kenyatta’s [official twitter] reelection, protests broke out in Nairobi, Coast, and the western counties of Kisumu, Siaya, Migori, and Homabay, which HRW says led to unlawful killings and beatings and house-to-house operations by police. In western Kenya, protesters threw stones at the police, to which the police responded with teargas canisters and water cannons to disperse the protesters. According to the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms [text], law enforcement is only to use force in proportion to the seriousness of the offense and intentional use of lethal force is permitted only when unavoidable to protect life. HRW urged the Kenyan government to publicly acknowledge and condemn the unlawful actions by the police, to investigate the crimes committed by police, to hold the police accountable for their excessive force, and to protect the right to peacefully protest.

This is not the first time Kenya has been plagued with accusations of human rights violations. In March Privacy International [advocacy website] urged investigation [JURIST report] into the practices and surveillance techniques of police officers after releasing a report documenting the serious human rights abuses that have allegedly resulted. In February a group of UN human rights experts urged [JURIST report] Kenya to stop crackdowns on human rights group to protect the integrity of this upcoming election. 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. Last year the International Criminal Court [official website] withdrew charges [JURIST report] against Kenyatta, who was accused of crimes against humanity for post-election violence, but indicated it would renew the charges if presented with enough evidence