Statement by the Kenya Human Rights Commission on prisons, conditions of detention and policing in Kenya at the 60th Ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights in Niamey, Niger

 

Madam Chairperson,

 

KHRC welcomes the report by the Chairperson of the Working Group on Prisons, Conditions of Detention and Policing in Africa and would like to draw the Commission’s attention to the following;

Prison Conditions in Kenya have for a long time been characterized by overcrowding, congestion, poor diet, degrading clothing and bedding, lack of clean water, poor sanitation and infectious diseases amongst other challenges.[1]  Over 55000 prisoners are held in only 118 facilities in Kenya. In the past six years, over 1714 inmates have died in prison with the largest death of 623 being reported in 2013[2]. The large number of people arrested and detained in police cells in Kenya is equally worrying. A recent study on the Criminal Justice System in Kenya suggested that an average of around 5000 people are held in various police stations annually[3].

 

We urge the Commission to;

  • Call upon the Government of Kenya to implement the resolution on the adoption of the “Ouagadougou Declaration and plan of action on accelerating Prison and Penal Reforms in Africa.

 

Madam Chairperson, Distinguished guests;

Impunity and disregard for the rule of law within a significant cross-section of the police service continues to be a worrying challenge and undermines the huge investments made in police reforms. On numerous occasions, the Kenyan Police has used lethal force; deadly crowd control weapons to disperse peaceful demonstrators and have also conducted extra judicial executions. While we welcome the guidelines for policing of assemblies by law enforcement officials in Africa that was launched during this ordinary session,

 

We urge the Commission to;

  • Call upon the Government of Kenya to investigate and prosecute or recommend for disciplinary action all Police Officers implicated in using lethal force and deadly crowd control weapons.
  • Call upon the Government of Kenya to urgently establish a comprehensive training on public order management with reference to other internationally accepted standards
Thank you.

[1] http://bit.ly/2r1FlkF

[2] http://bit.ly/2ralTj4

[3] Criminal Justice System in Kenya-National Council on the Administration of Justice


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