NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – FOLLOWING a violent crackdown by Kenyan police against civilians, United Nations rights experts are wary of the
recurrence of deadly violence reminiscent of the 2007/08 polls.
Police have reacted aggressively amid recent protests against alleged government corruption.
Law enforcers have used teargas and batons to disperse demonstrators. A number of people have been injured or detained during the protests in
“Beating protesters does not make their grudges go away. Rather, it intensifies them, because it sends the message that the government does
not care,” UN experts jointly stated.
The experts include Maina Kiai (rapporteur on freedom of peaceful assembly and association), David Kaye (rapporteur on promotion and protection of
freedom of opinion and expression) and Michel Forst, rapporteur on safety of human rights defenders.
The experts also expressed alarm at the timing of the crackdown, less than a year before Kenyans elect a new president in August 2017.
They said creating an environment where opinions could be expressed peacefully was key to avoiding a repeat of the wave of violence which
followed the disputed presidential poll in 2007.
Up to 1 500 people were killed and 600 000 displaced between December 2007 and February 2008.
– CAJ NEWS