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HRD Awards 2016

NCHRD-K in partnership with the Working Group on Human Rights Defenders recognize the critical role of HRDs in promotion and protection of human rights in Kenya through the inaugural HRD award ceremony held on 9 December 2016.

An independent and vibrant civil society is beneficial to the development of a society that would thrive on values and principles as intended within the Constitution of Kenya 2010 (Article 10). Human rights
defenders, in their critical role in complementing the government in promotion and protection of accountability, transparency, good governance, public participation and respect for human rights, are faced with numerous challenges. These include surveillance, vilification, arbitrary arrests, malicious prosecutions, torture, threats to their life and livelihoods, thus limiting their operating environment. Despite these challenges, HRDs continue to show resilience in their work towards the realisation of human rights in Kenya.

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HRDs Award 2016

HRD award 2016

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Kenya: Arbitrary detention and judicial harassment of ten land rights defenders from Taita Taveta County

EN 003 / 1116 / OBS 100

Arbitrary detention / Harassment /

Restrictions to freedom of assembly

November 22, 2016

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH, has received new information and requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Kenya.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the arbitrary detention and judicial harassment of ten land rights defenders, at the Taveta GK prison since November 1, 2016.

According to the information received, on October 31, 2016, eight members of the network organisation Building Africa[1], namely Messrs. Charles Mwanzia, Ramadhan Mathenge Kamosu, Justus Munyao, Fabian Ngure, Julius Kimondio, Frank Mbomani, Ambrose Hemed, Msafiri Mkillo, as well as twowitnesses to a beneficiary ofthe organisation’s services, Messrs. Julius Masuma and Peter Kithome, were arrested while attending a public meeting about land grabbing and corruption in the city of Taveta, in Taita Taveta County of Kenya. They were charged by the Taveta Court the day after with “participation in an unlawful assembly”, in breach of Section 79 of the Penal Code. They immediately challenged this accusation, claiming that they had not committed any crime.

The Observatory fears that the judicial harassment of the ten defenders is linked to their legitimate human rights activities against the Phase 1 and 2 of the Taita Taveta Settlement Project, and their several denounces of corruption and irregular distribution of land in the territory.

The ten defenders remain in custody since their arrest, being unable to pay the bond fixed by the authorities for each of them to KES 300,000 (approx. 2,770 euros). This punitive use of the bail and bond system, which very often disproportionately affects human rights defenders and activists granting higher bails compared to criminals accused of more serious offences, has been already denounced by the Observatory among the preliminary findings of its mission to Kenya[2], as it only aims at deterring defenders from conducting their legitimate human rights activities. The defendants, helped by the Kenyan National Coalition for Human Rights Defenders (NCHRD-K) filed an application to the High Court asking for the review of the excessive bond imposed on them, since its purpose should not be to ensure the inability of the defendant to pay it, but it should rather be an incentive to return to court. The hearing will take place on November 23, 2016.




NCHRD-K Concerned with criminalization of human rights defense, punitive bail against human rights defenders and whistleblowers

Nairobi, 14 November 2016

Ten persons, including local farmers and activists are languishing in Taveta GK Prison for protesting against illegal land acquisitions and corruption in the county. The ten were arrested on 31 October 2016 and charged in court the following day in Taveta Court in Taita Taveta County of Kenya. They are accused of participating in an unlawful assembly contrary to s. 79 of the penal code. (CR Case No 381/2016).

The ten: Charles Mwanzia; Ramadhan Mathenge Kamosu; Justus Munyao; Fabian Ngure; Julius Kimondio; Frank Mbomani; Ambrose Hemed; Msafiri Mkillo; Julius Masuma; Peter Kithome have been unable to each raise the bond that the Court set at Kshs 300,000 with 2 sureties for each of the accused and are languishing in detention over misdemeanor charges.

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Celebrating WHRDs

Celebrating WHRDs in Kenya

November 29th is a day of recognition for women human rights defenders, and it is a day to commemorate activism, advocacy and courageous acts of resistance. The campaign focuses on defense of rights and the impact of abuses by state and non-state actors (including family and community members), the rise in militarism and fundamentalism’s. They are also targeted due to their own real or perceived sexual orientation and gender or that of individuals who they represent.

It is thus through this initiative that National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders Kenya (NCHRD-K) has opted to celebrate and recognize the great work done by the Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) in Kenya.

“I call on the international community and States to publicly and unequivocally recognize the work of such women human rights defenders, to protect them, and to ensure that perpetrators of violations against those activists are investigated and prosecuted. I recommend the implementation of gender-specific protection measures and programmes for women human rights defenders.” Michael Frost, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of HUman Rights Defenders commemorating the International Day of WHRDs in 2015.


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