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Category Page: Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE: DECISION ENTERED IN FAVOUR OF MS LUCY HANNAN AT THE HIGH COURT, NAIROBI, 04 MAY 2017

PRESS STATEMENT LUCY HANNAN

THE OBSERVATORY – PRESS RELEASE

Publication of an International fact-finding report

Poster inviting people for the meeting.

Geneva-Nairobi-Paris, May 3, 2017   – The abduction, torture and killing of renowned Kenyan human rights lawyer Willie Kimani in June 2016 shocked the entire world, provoking a wave of outrage at national and international level. This is only the tip of the iceberg of a widespread pattern of violence and harassment aimed at silencing dissenting voices and perpetuating impunity, the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (OMCT-FIDH partnership) has concluded after a recently conducted mission.
Kenya, a country that in 2010 voted a very progressive Constitution strengthening the country’s human rights framework in compliance with international standards, has in recent years chosen a different path. Unfortunately, so far the freedoms enshrined in the constitutional Bill of Rights have not been fully incorporated into domestic legislation, and, most importantly, are not upheld or implemented in practice.
To date, the effective implementation of this progressive framework unfortunately remains a mirage and still needs substantial improvement”, declared OMCT Secretary General Gerald Staberock. “With all the right instruments put in place to bring about change, lack of implementation and political will appear to be the main reasons for such disillusionment”.
On the contrary, a report published today by the Observatory accounts for high levels of police and security forces’ violence, especially against human rights defenders involved in the fight against impunity for human rights violations. The mission report compiles several testimonies of incidents of violence, including cases of harassment, threats, torture, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings.
Moreover, human rights defenders are often criminalised on the basis of trumped-up charges, which aim at intimidating them through episodes of frequent arrests, detentions in police stations, long trials and punitive bail and bond terms. This inevitably prevents them from pursuing their legitimate human rights activities.
Adding to this, the lack of a clear legal framework regulating the civil society sector due to the failure to commence implementation of the Public Benefit Organisations (PBO) Act 2013 creates a legal limbo which obliges NGOs to operate in a hostile environment, characterised by the threat of arbitrary de-registration and asset freezes, continuous attacks and smearing campaigns.
In such a context, and ahead of the upcoming general elections, it is urgent that Kenyan authorities publicly recognise the crucial role of human rights defenders as pillars of democracy and watchdogs of the rule of law. They must improve their safety, truly implement the police and security sector reforms, hold perpetrators accountable, acknowledge the misuse of criminal law to harass defenders, and finally commence the PBO Act of 2013”, concluded FIDH President Dimitris Christopoulos.

CALL FOR EXPRESSION ON INTEREST

TECHNICAL CONSULTANT TO DEVELOP A SAFETY AND PROTECTION GUIDE FOR SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND GENDER IDENTITY AND EXPRESSION HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS

 

WHO WE ARE

The National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders–Kenya (NCHRD-K) is a national organization incorporated in the Republic of Kenya as a Trust. Its mission is to strengthen the capacity of human rights defenders (HRDs) to work effectively in the country and to reduce their vulnerability to the risk of persecution, through protection, capacity building, and advocacy for a favourable legal and policy environment. Established in 2007, NCHRD-K is the only national organisation that works primarily for the protection of HRDs.

 

PURPOSE OF THE CONSULTANCY

The NCHRD-K is seeking the services of a consultant to develop a safety and protection guide for sexual orientation and gender identity and expression human rights defenders.

 

OBJECTIVE OF THE CONSULTANCY

  1. To create a reference guide for SOGIE HRDs for their individual, information and organisations safety and security
  2. To provide a local context in addressing the security concerns face by SOGIE HRDs in Kenya

 

TASKS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE CONSULTANT

The consultant will develop a safety and protection guide “The Protection guide for SOGIE HRDs and HRDs working on SOGIE issues in Kenya”

 

The consultant will:

  • Conduct desk review/ review of existing literature, case studies on the subject matter,
  • Prepare and share the inception report of findings at expert round table for input
  • Develop draft guide for safety and protection for SOGIE HRDs that is enriched by experts reviews and proposals by stakeholders at forums
  • Consolidate all input and develop the safety and protection guide for SOGIE HRDs

 

 

APPROACH

The consultant is expected to work directly with NCHRD-K and liaise with any other partners as may be determined by NCHRD-K for any technical and operational support that he/she may require during the consultancy. The Consultant(s) will be supervised by NCHRD-K Secretariat.

 

KEY DELIVERABLES

  1. An inception report
  2. Draft safety and protection guide
  3. A final safety and protection guide.

 

TIME-FRAME

The consultant must be ready to start work immediately upon appointment. The maximum number of days allowable for the consultancy work shall not exceed twenty (20) working days.

 

PROFILE AND EXPERIENCE OF CONSULTANT

Candidates for this consultancy should possess the following minimum qualifications:

  • The consultant or lead consultant must have demonstrated (previous) experience in human rights specifically on issues related to human rights defenders and sexual minorities
  • Proven and demonstrable relevant experience in SOGIE related issues.
  • Proven and demonstrable relevant experience in safety and protection issues
  • Wide knowledge about the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and international and regional legal instruments that protect the rights of human rights defenders and sexual minorities.
  • Demonstrable experience in the publication of materials of similar nature.
  • A minimum qualification of a Degree in law, political science, policy analysis or other related field
  • Fluency in English and Kiswahili

 

Application Procedure

Interested consultants must include in their application the following:

  1. Technical Proposal not exceeding 5 pages on:
  • An understanding and interpretation of the TOR
  • Methodology to be used in undertaking the assignment
  • Time and activity schedule

 

  1. Financial proposal not exceeding 1 page
  • Consultant’s daily rate in Kenya Shillings
  • Other costs e.g. travel, accommodation (if applicable)
  • Total cost

 

  1. Organizational and Personnel Capacity Statement
  • Relevant experience related to the assignment (include samples of two most recent similar works and/or references for the same)
  • Contacts of at least 3 organizations previously worked for.
  • Curriculum Vitae of the Consultant(s).

 

SUBMISSION OF PROPOSAL

Interested and qualified consultants should submit their application to advocacy@hrdcoalition.org with the subject “TECHNICAL CONSULTANT APPLICATION” on or before 7th April 2017.

HUMAN RIGHTS STATE OF THE NATION STATEMENT 2017

STATEMENT BY KENYA NATIONAL COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS CHAIRPERSON

Your Excellency, The President of the Republic of Kenya;
The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights makes this address on the basis of its constitutional mandate as prescribed under Article 59 and within the general functions and powers under Article 252; and the statutory reporting obligations pursuant to the KNCHR Constitutive Act of 2011 (Revised 2012); with the specific mandate to promote a culture of human rights in Kenya.
The Commission’s broad mandate is to enhance the promotion and protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms for everyone in Kenya. The Commission plays both a watchdog and advisory role with a vision of a society that upholds human rights for all. It monitors Government and private institutions, carries investigations on alleged human rights violations, and in appropriate cases, provides redress to those whose rights have been violated.
Its operations are guided by the United Nation’s approved principles on establishment and functioning of independent national human rights institutions otherwise referred to as the Paris Principles.

 

DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT AT:

CHAIRPERSON STATE OF THE NATION STATEMENT 2017

KENYA: NCHRD-K and DefendDefenders condemn the killing of human rights defender John Waweru in Nairobi

The National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders – Kenya (NCHRD-K) and DefendDefenders (East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project) are outraged by the killing of human rights defender John Waweru on Monday 11 April 2016 in Zimmerman, Nairobi.

John Waweru was the director of Githunguri Constituency Ranching Company and an avid and committed human rights defender working towards the promotion and protection of economic and social rights.

NCHRD-K and DefendDefenders are alarmed at the trend of attacks against human rights defenders in Kenya related to their work on land and environmental rights. Mr Waweru was at the forefront of advocacy against forced evictions of individuals residing on contested land in Kiambu County.

The killing of John Waweru, which is believed to be related to his human rights work, comes shortly after the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on the protection of human rights defenders addressing economic, social and cultural rights (A/HRC/31/L.28) in March 2016.

The NCHRD-K and DefendDefenders express grave concern about the lack of accountability for perpetrators of harassment, intimidation, and physical and sometimes lethal attacks against human rights defenders in Kenya.

Joel Ogada, a human rights defender in Kilifi County who has been a leading advocate for land rights against the neighbouring Salt farms has faced three criminal charges, one of which resulted in him being sentenced to two years in prison after appeal. He was released in September 2015 and barely six months after his release, in March 2016, he was rearrested and charged with attempting to kill.

In 2013, Hassan Guyo, the Programme Director for Strategies for Northern Development (SND), an organization that promotes human rights for women and children and works on refugee and human trafficking issues in Moyale was killed by security forces. In 2009, HRDs Oscar Kingara and Paul Oulu of Oscar Foundation were shot dead in Nairobi. In all of these matters, no one has been held to account and police investigations have been inconclusive.

The protection and promotion of the work of HRDs is anchored in international human rights norms. In 1998, a UN General Assembly resolution adopted the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders that codifies the international standards protecting the activities of HRDs around the world. Though not binding, the provisions within this document are echoed in the Kenyan constitution. Despite these international standards, HRDs in Kenya are still operating in a hostile environment.

The NCHRDK and DefendDefenders call on:

  • The Inspector General of Police and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions to launch a comprehensive, impartial and independent investigation into the killing of John Waweru without delay;
  • The Kenyan Government to put in place mechanisms, including a legal framework, for the protection of human rights defenders in Kenya and ensure a conducive working environment for HRDs; and
  • The international community to strongly condemn the killing of John Waweru, whose human rights work greatly contributed the livelihoods of his constituents.

 

For further information, please contact:

Kamau Ngugi
Executive Director, National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders – Kenya
on: dkngugi@hrdcoalition.org

Hassan Shire
Executive Director, DefendDefenders (East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project)
on: executive@defenddefenders.org

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

Kenya
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.

READ MORE AT: http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/kenya/2016/11/d24069/

 

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