Kenya Police: Stop using violence in protests

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We are a group of people and organizations concerned that the right to protest is under attack in Kenya.

According to media reports, in September 2019 alone, 43 people were arrested in the course of different protests in the country.

Further, according to the Kenya Right To Protest Report 2019 by ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa, due to the excessive use of force by the police, at least 21 protesters and/or bystanders were injured and 7 killed between 1 January 2018 and 31 July 2019.

These figures alone have a chilling effect on the Right to Protest, a right guaranteed under Article 37 of the CoK 2010.

The reality is that many Kenyans are often arrested for simply attending protests and face steep court fines from the arrest and at worst will then have a criminal record for simply expressing themselves as per Article 37 of CoK 2010.

If we cannot trust the government to allow us to be #FreeToProtest, how can we trust them to protect the rest of our human rights?

In December we plan to handover the petition, with the number of signatures collected, to the Inspector General of Police in Kenya. We are therefore through this petition asking the Inspector General of Police in Kenya to:

  • Ensure the public order management procedures, manuals, training and practice are reviewed and brought to compliance with the Constitution and international human rights law and standards.
  • Establish a clear obligation on law enforcement to attempt de-escalation and resort to non-violent means first. 
  • Ensure the overall approach to policing protests is guided by the principle that the use of force against protesters by law enforcement is restricted.
  • Work together with the Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA), the Police Service Internal Affairs Unit, and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) to ensure all cases of police brutality and malpractice in the course of protests are fully investigated, justice served, and victims are compensated in line with the law. 

Sign this petition now and send a message to the Inspector General that enough is enough and change needs to happen!