Civil Society Organizations in Kenya Feel Threatened

CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS WORKING IN AFRICA CALL TO: END INTIMIDATIONS AND HATE CAMPAIGNS AGAINST CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS IN KENYA

We, the under signed non-governmental organizations working to promote human rights and good governance in our respective countries and regionally in Africa, are gravely concerned about incidences of intimidations and hate campaigns directed at members of Kenya’s civil society increasingly occurring after the filing of a Civil society representative Petition in the Supreme Court of Kenya on the 16th March 2013, challenging the process and legitimacy of the March 4th 2013 General Elections.

It has come to our attention that social media hate campaigns, which include using human rights activists’ passport photographs and their personal information, are being used to threaten and incite hatred against prominent Kenyan human rights defenders for challenging, the conduct of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in the management of the March 4th 2013 General Election in Kenya. These messages of hate and incitement are worrisome because they single out individual members of civil society for either condemnation or reprisals.

We express our grave concerns over these hateful messages being spread in Kenya and at the global level. We find the propagation of the said messages outrageous as the members of civil society who filed the petitions are exercising their constitutionally given right to go to court when they have concerns as provided for in the Constitution of the Republic of Kenya, 2010 and under other national, regional and international instruments protecting electoral rights to which Kenya is party.

We strongly condemn these hateful messages and call upon the groups and/or individuals in Kenya, including those who remain unidentified as of yet, and globally to refrain from issuing such threats and from propagating hatred towards members of the civil society in Kenya.

We further call upon the Kenyan government:

(i) To investigate and prosecute groups and/or individuals intimidating members of civil society in Kenya;

(ii) To protect and guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical and psychological well-being of members of civil society in Kenya in line with the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9, 1998, in particular its article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually or collectively, to promote the protection and fulfillment of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national… level”, article 5(b) which stipulates that, “everyone has the right to form, join and participate in non-governmental organizations, associations or groups”, as well as article 12(2), which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually or in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”;

(iii) To ensure in all circumstances, the respect for individual rights and fundamental freedoms in the Republic of Kenya in accordance with national, regional and international standards and human rights instruments ratified and domesticated by Kenya.

Sincerely,

1. Children Education Society (CHESO), Tanzania
2. Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC), Nigeria
3. Coalition of Eastern Non Governmental Organizations, Nigeria
4. National Coalition on Affirmative Action, Nigeria
5. Nigeria Coalition on the ICC (NCICC), Nigeria
6. Lira NGO Forum, Uganda
7. South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy (SSHURSA), South Sudan
8. Human Rights Network-Uganda ( HURINET-U), Uganda
9. Uganda Coalition on the International Criminal Court (UCICC), Uganda
10. International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI), headquartered in Uganda
11. Coalition for the ICC with offices in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Benin
12. International Crime in Africa Programme (ICAP)/ Institute for Security Studies (ISS)
13. Centre for Governance, Human Rights and Legal Research(GHuRiLeR Centre) South Sudan
14. L’Association pour Droits de l’Homme et l’Univers Carcéral (ADHUC), ONG de la République du Congo
15. Coalition Ivoirienne des Défenseurs des Droits Humains (CIDDH)
16. ONG SOS EXCLUSION, Côte d’Ivoire
17. La Coalition Ivoirienne pour la Cour Pénale Internationale, Côte d’Ivoire
18. Le Réseau Equitas, Côte d’Ivoire
19. Darfur Women Action Group , USA
20. Association femmes et Droits Humains, Mali
21. Uganda National NGO Forum, Uganda
22. SCARJoV, Association for Reintegration of Youth/Children in Social Life, Angola
23. GALZ, Zimbabwe
24. L’organisation Action Sociale pour la Paix et le Développement (ASPD), DRC
25. La coalition centrafricaine pour la CPI, CAR
26. Cameroon Coalition for the International Criminal Court, Cameroon
27. Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), South Sudan
28. Human Rights & Advocacy Network for Democracy (HAND), South Sudan
29. Arry Organization for Human Rights , Egypt, USA
30. Avocats Sans Frontières-Uganda
31. La Fondation Djigui, Côte d’Ivoire
32. Botswana Network On Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA), Botswana
33. Centre for Widows and Children Assistance(CWCA), Tanzania
34. Action by Christians for the Abolition of torture (ACAT), Burundi

Cc:

Mr. Adama Dieng, Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, United Nations
Mrs. Margaret Sekaggya, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders,
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Hon. Commissioner Mrs. Reine Alapini Gansou, Special Rapporteur on Human Rights
Defenders, African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR)
Mr. Gerald Staberock, Secretary General, The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights
Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the
World Organization Against Torture (OMCT),

6 comments

  • william njogu

    The so called civil society in kenya is nothing but a vehicle for individual enrichment in the guise of assisting Kenyans. As much as i support freedom of speech, I always support transparency. They cannot be yelling about government accountability when they themselves are nowhere near it. They are also very partisan in their political affliations leaving most kenyans to wonder whether they are political parties. During the last elections they all openly supported Raila and were very hostile to his opponent and even their appeal in the Supreme court, the chief justice through a slip of the tongue called their appeal as “Raila’s project” You cannot preach water and drink wine. If they cannot bear the heat, tell them to get out of the kitchen. Get out of politics.

  • Pro-Democracy institute.

    Mr William Njogu you better shut-up Without Civil society Kenya would still be thinking like Zombies under Moi Where millions of Kenyans were indocrinited to believe that Dictator Moi was the Mother and father of each and every kenyan and no kenyan should think but to allow baba na mama to be thinking for us!

    Under Dictator Moi Kenya was like PyongYang (North Korea) Today Kenya Rigged Kikuyu Mafia Govt of Two Most Wanted Muderers, Rapists and arsonists will make north korea(Pyongyang) to look (Holier than thou art)

    We know since Uhuruto were rigged by Gema-Ruling-class Kikuyus have grown horns One goest crazy by listening Hurus FM Racist radio-stations in Kenya Vomiting Vemin praising Herr,Hitler Uhuru Kenyatta as their God-chosen Angel who will oppen heavenly gates for Kikuyu poor and wreched of the earth..Just wait and see many killings and people dissapearing hence democracy has died in Kenya the day Gema -military ,IEBC and Mafia rigged Uhuru to protect Gema ill aquired wealth stolen from the people of Kenya.

  • Oppen Society Democracy

    How long is Kikuyu Gema- Mafia govt going to held Kenyan people in ransom (kikuyu Mafia kibaki govt) never voted the new constitution because it denies Mafia free money (grabbing money meant to develop other tribe areas) watch this Video how Governors elected by majority of kenyan people walked out in protest after President Kibaki preached Nonsense to them) Kenya Must Break(into ) like Sudan/Yugoslavia & Batic countries)

  • Jackton Omondi.

    Civil society should be allowed (must) to work for the benefit of oppressed society especially in Nigger-la south of Sahara where young men(youth) deal with drugs and used to transport drugs in China and other Asian countries> http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/?articleID=2000080798&story_title=Kenya-No-reprieve-yet-for-Kenyans-jailed-in-China

  • Am a Kenyan working in the EA region which has experienced many calamities due to wars, I want to advice our brothers from Mount Kenya that the country called Kenya is for the beloved Kenyans and they have equal share and rights within its boundaries and borders. What has happened for the past two general elections is very sad and extremely bad indeed for the cohesion and mutual existence of Kenyans has brothers/sisters.
    If elections are called we should respect the winners voted for by the majority of the Kenyan population. Manipulation and undermining of the electoral process will cost the country a big deal one of this days and the blame will be on the few rich Kenyans who thing they own the country including all resources in it.
    I arge the the upright thinking brothers and sisters from mount Kenya region to passionately advice the few people who think they own Kenya to stop this game with immediate effect. For remember pride goes before a fall.

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