INTERVIEW WITH NCHRD-K’S PROTECTION OFFICER
The working group on human rights defenders in Kenya is this afternoon scheduled to award the outstanding work of human rights activists for the year 2017. The working group comprises of community service organizations and development partners in Kenya, and focuses on the protection of human rights defenders. The award ceremony of this 2nd edition of the awards will take place on the 26th of January 2018. The ceremony is being hosted by the Netherlands ambassador to Kenya Frans Makken. The Netherlands is the current chair of the human rights defenders working group.
Civic space in Kenya continues to be under pressure with a range of actions employed against the work of Human Rights Defenders and Civil Society organizations in Kenya. Administrative action, legislative restrictions, negative rhetoric and limitation of human rights have undermined the Constitutional and international protections available to them hindering the realization of human rights and especially in the setting of an electoral period during the 2017 elections.
It is against this backdrop that the Working Group on Human Rights Defenders in Kenya, that comprise of CSOs and development partners in Kenya, concerned with the protection of human rights defenders hold the 2017 Human Rights Defenders Awards. The HRD awards endeavour to publicly recognise the work of HRDs in Kenya through a HRD award ceremony.
Download the 2017 awards booklet:http://nchrdk.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Human-Rights-Awards-booklet-2017.pdf
The Government has been told to secure the observers and journalists who will be will be monitoring the August 8 General Election. The National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (NCHRD-K) decried harassment of the civil society and the fourth estate during the party primaries and ongoing campaigns, despite the groups playing a critical role. According to a report released by the NCHRD-K yesterday, 13 cases of intimidation of human rights defenders, monitors and journalists have been reported since April.
The National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders – Kenya welcomes the judgment entered, on 4th may 2017, by the High Court in Nairobi granting Ms. Lucy Hannan a two year work permit as she finalizes her application for citizenship. Justice Isaac Lenaola ruled that the decision by the government not to renew Ms. Hannan’s work permit in 2013 was unprocedural and in violation of the Constitution.
This positive decision comes after a protracted four year court battle where Lucy Hannan, a British journalist and human rights defender who has been resident in Kenya since 1988, sued the State in December 2013 for refusing to renew her work permit on grounds that she was a “subversive”, a ‘threat to national security’and ordered she be removed from the country.
Download the full press release here: http://nchrdk.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/PRESS-STATEMENT-LUCY-HANNAN.pdf