BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,19TH MARCH 2018-Most of the victims of violence and human rights violations emanating from last years general elections are yet to be compensated or perpetrators punished.
According to a report on human rights situation unveiled on Monday by Kenya National commission on human rights ,the country has witnessed unprecedented cases of human rights violations for the last one year most of them resulting from police brutality.Addressing the press in Nairobi ,KNCHR chair Kagwiria Mbogori noted that Kenya has witnessed various violations of civil rights and fundamental freedoms of its citizens since the August 8 polls.
She listed the intimidation of poll officers, the disenfranchisement of voters in certain regions, and sexual abuse against women and girls.
The KNCHR boss said Kenya should lift its reservations on Article 14 (2) (c) of the Maputo Protocol and allow abused women to undergo abortions.
The Maputo Protocol states that governments must put in place mechanisms to procure abortions for women impregnated through sexual assault, rape or incest.
She urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to ensure action is taken on the police officers involved in extra-judicial killings that followed last year’s two general elections.
Mbogori reminded the president that police used excessive force in dealing with demonstrations during the electioneering period.
“Your Excellency, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearance have been a common occurrence in our country. KNCHR strongly recommends the implementation of the Prevention of Torture Act.”
She also expressed concern over the wanton destruction of property during the demonstrations.
The rights activists recommended the setting up of mechanisms to compensate business people who lost their property during the protests.
Kenya lags behind in reporting human rights abuses in line with the African Human Rights system, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights has said.
Mbogori said even though Kenya has ratified several human rights charters like the Banjul Charter and the Maputo protocol, it has not made a declaration on the African Charter on the people and Human Rights on the establishment of an African court on human and people’s rights.
Mbogori said this means Kenya does not accept the jurisdiction of the court to receive complaints from individuals and NGOs on human rights violations.
She said Kenya is also yet to ratify several treaties and optional protocols adding that the county needs to do so to improve its global ratings on handling human rights abuses.
These include the African Union Convention on the protection and assistance of internally displaced people in Africa, popularly known as the Kampala Convention.
Others are the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance and the protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights.
The country is yet to ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the rights of migrant workers and their families as well as the International Convention for the protection of all persons from enforced disappearance, Mbogori added.
She, however, praised the government for timely reporting to the treaty body on human rights issues.
“We encourage the state to do so for the few outstanding ones such as International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” she said.