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Government under increased scrutiny on human rights violations

23 April 2014, 15:28 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - The government is under increased scrutiny over a poor human rights record made even worse thanks to the ongoing terror swoop in the country.

With the revelation of a report by the Kenya Human Rights Commision KHRC and the International Human Rights Commision IHRC which said human rights violations are on the rise in the country, the government is increasingly falling under pressure to address the situation.

None worse than in recent weeks where the government has been accused of flouting human rights in the wake of the ongoing terror swoops in the country.

Police have been accused of infringing on the rights of Kenyans as well as non-Kenyans in the terror swoop which has seen many either injured or abused in different ways.

Nairobi's Eastleigh has been the most affected, with the government under pressure over increased terror activities in the country.

" I was beaten because I did not have my ID on me and despite my appeal to them to stop it, they hit me even worse, Harrison Kimani, an Eastleigh resident said.

For those that ended up at the Kasarani Stadium detention centre, the story was the same.

" They made me take off my clothes and then hit me in my private parts. They also put us up in overcrowded facilities with no toilets and one meal a day. It was horrific, Ismael Halija, who was later released said.

And despite efforts by human rights activists to highlight the facilities at Kasarani as pathetic, the government tried its best to hide the operation from public view.

It was not until the intervention of Somali officials that the government improved slightly.

" The facilities are fit for prisoners. We cannot negotiate with criminals and terrorists because they do not negotiate with us, a senior policeman whose name cannot be stated said of the terror operation.

The government has tried to put a brave face in the current situation but even they have admitted that the issue at hand is tough to handle.

" It is a delicate situation and dealing with it is not easy. The government is doing its best to ensure the operation is done in the right manner, Interior cabinet secretary Joseph Ole Lenku said.

And with the UN refugee agency registering increased complaints from refugees sent back to refugee camps from Nairobi and Mombasa, there is concern that the government is acting above the law.

With memories of police handling of peaceful protests in the country as well as wrongful detention of persons still evident, it will take a herculean effort from the state to clear its name from the increased belief that it is a promoter of human rights violations.

" Under the guise of preserving the country's peace and security, authorities have conducted anti-terrorism operations which have, in some cases, been marred by serious human rights abuses," KHRC and ICRC say.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto, who are also both facing crimes against humanity charges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) over their role in post-2007 election violence, have also been criticised for working actively to undermine the tribunal.

"Instead of fulfilling their obligation to ensure that victims of post-election violence get justice and redress, Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto have spent their entire first year in office actively undermining these non-derogable rights.

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Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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