Human Rights Orgs term Anti-IEBC demos ban ‘misguided and unlawful’
By David Indeje / October 13, 2017
Human rights organisations have termed the anti-IEBC demos in three Kenyan cities as ‘misguided and unlawful’ by the Interior Ministry.
Led by the Kenyan Section of International Commission of Jurists (ICJ Kenya, said the country is governed by rule of law and the citizenry have inalienable rights that cannot be arbitrarily derogated. “Article 2 (1 of the Constitution of Kenya provides that a right or fundamental freedom in the Bill of Rights shall not be limited except by law and then only to the extent that the limitation is reasonable and justifiable in an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom.”
“Kenyans do not require a license from anyone to meet or demonstrate,” said ICJ Kenya executive Director Samwel Mohochi.
Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, on the other hand, said the ban, “Is likely to become a basis for heavy-handed police crackdowns.”
Instead, Kagari said, “If people nevertheless continue to gather to protest, the Kenyan authorities must ensure that the police response complies with international law and standards on human rights and law enforcement. In particular, the police must seek to avoid the use of force, which they may use only where it is strictly necessary and to the extent required for enforcing the law. They must not use this ban as a green light to crack down violently on opposition supporters.”
Thus, ICJ urged and demanded the affected citizens to disregard the unlawful and illegal direction and enjoy their fundamental rights to the fullest. “Including turning out in large numbers to demonstrate in the NASA demonstrations in a peaceful and lawful manner.”
Mohochi also urged, “The National Police Service continues facilitating NASA demonstrations by providing security and apprehend any criminal elements committing crimes within such demonstrations.”
Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i on Thursday banned the anti-IEBC demonstrations in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu central business districts.