Annual Report: Kenya 2013

Report
May 23, 2013

Annual Report: Kenya 2013

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REPUBLIC OF KENYA

Head of state and government Mwai Kibaki

Freedom of assembly and expression were attacked. Impunity persisted for both past and current human rights violations, including unlawful killings. Somali refugees and asylum-seekers were targets of xenophobic violence, and faced arbitrary arrest by the police. There were a number of grenade and bomb attacks in border towns in North-Eastern Province and in Nairobi.

Background

The implementation of constitutional reforms continued throughout the year, with Parliament passing more than 27 Bills. However, the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) criticized some of the Bills as not in line with the Constitution. The implementation of some laws that had been passed by Parliament, including the National Police Service Act, was delayed.

The country's security situation was affected by episodes of violence across the country, including in North-Eastern Province, Coastal Province and the cities of Kisumu and Nairobi.

Impunity – post-election violence

No steps were taken to bring people responsible for crimes and human rights violations, including possible crimes against humanity, allegedly committed during the post-election violence of 2007-2008, to justice, despite the government saying several times that investigations were continuing.

In February, the Director of Public Prosecutions established a taskforce to deal with the prosecution of 5,000 pending cases. It was the third time a taskforce had been created to look into the caseload. In August, the taskforce revealed that most of the evidence was not of a sufficient standard for trial.

The UN Human Rights Committee, in its Concluding Observations issued in July following consideration of Kenya's record in implementing the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, expressed concern at the lack of investigations and prosecution of those responsible for the violence.

Human rights violations by police

Amnesty International continued to receive reports of a range of human rights violations by the police including excessive use of force, arbitrary arrests and cases of ill-treatment of people in police detention. There were also numerous reports that the police targeted members of particular communities, in particular people of Somali origin, across the country.

Impunity for human rights violations committed by the police continued. The implementation of key laws setting the framework for police reform was seriously delayed. The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) began work in June. It was mandated to investigate complaints and disciplinary or criminal offences committed by any member of the National Police Service. However, there were concerns that the budget allocated to IPOA was not sufficient for it to carry out its mandate.