Written by KHRC    Tuesday, 26 May 2015 12:05   
KHRC Applauds African Commission Resolutions from 56th Session

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) held its 56th Ordinary Session from April 21 – May 7, 2015 in Banjul, Gambia during which it adopted 3 resolutions. The KHRC would in particular, like to take this opportunity to applaud the ACHPR for adopting a Resolution on Terrorist Acts in the Republic of Kenya and a Resolution on the Right to Rehabilitation for Victims of Torture.

In its resolution speaking to the escalation of terror activities in Kenya by the Al Shabab group, the ACHPR stands in solidarity with Kenya expressing its dismay at the tragic loss of life and acknowledges the role played by Kenya in combating terror within and outside its borders as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The ACHPR however goes on to caution the Kenyan government against the use of retaliatory measures such as collective punishment, expulsion of refugees, freezing of funds, suspension of various civil society organizations and the threat of closure of refugee camps suspected of having links with terrorism. This is a positon that KHRC ascribes to and is reflected in its Country Brief on the Human Rights Situation in Kenya which was submitted to the ACHPR for consideration during this session.

Davis Malombe, the Ag. Executive Director at KHRC stated, “This resolution critically reaffirms that the fight against terror must not be allowed to undermine the fundamental rights and freedoms of the public in the guise of enhancing security. Kenya’s strength lies in its diversity and values of human rights, equality, freedom, democracy, social justice and the rule of law. We must not reward Al Shabab by turning our backs on these values”

The resolution on the right to rehabilitation provides a critical reflection on rehabilitation as a core component of the broader right to reparation, noting that it lacks sufficient clarity and is hampered primarily by financial constraints. The ACHPR however urged States to implement domestic laws prohibiting torture with clear provisions on rehabilitation. The resolution further calls for States to offer appropriate medical care and access to appropriate social rehabilitation to victims of torture and their dependents. KHRC stands in support of this resolution, having co-convened a side-event with partners entitled, “Realizing the Right to Rehabilitation and Reparation in Africa”, on the margins of the session and submitting a proposed Resolution on the Right to Rehabilitation for consideration by the ACHPR during this session.

Andrew Songa, the Program Manager- Transformative Justice at KHRC described the resolution as “A significant step in enhancing the meaning of reparation for victims of torture. Our experience in working with victims of torture and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from the post-election violence points to a clear gap in State interventions in as far as rehabilitation is concerned. Furthermore, the Kenyan government should consider the resolution as a wakeup call to finally enact legislation on the prohibition of torture.”

KHRC continues to value the ACHPR as a regional platform for illuminating and addressing human rights concerns and will avail itself as a strategic partner in seeking to implement the objectives of these resolutions and by extension realize the vision of Human Rights States and Societies. Read more on KHRC’s activities at the 56th session here.

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 26 May 2015 12:07 )
Written by KHRC    Thursday, 21 May 2015 10:08   
Statement from EAC-EU EPA meeting


We, members of civil society organisations, small scale farmers’ organisations and workers’ organisations from East Africa and beyond, assembled in Nairobi on 4-5 March 2015, deliberated on the recently concluded Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the East African Community Partner states and the European Union.

Various papers were presented at the conference written by experts with deep theoretical and practical knowledge of the subject. We were pleased to have amongst us top-level officials from the Kenya Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, responsible for trade negotiations at various bilateral, regional and international levels, EALA representative as well as a representative from the European Union. They, too, presented papers at the Conference, and were given ample time to explain their positions.


  • That the EPA is concluded but not yet signed, pending legal scrubbing, translation, ratification and due legal processes at national and East African regional levels;
  • That the signing, after the above mentioned due processes are completed, might take place at the earliest in August/September 2015;
  • That the Government of Kenya has started a “sensitisation” process in more than 13 counties in Kenya
  • That Kenya will host the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference in December 2015


That the East African intra-regional trade consists largely of value-added manufactured products, whereas the exports to Europe consist almost entirely of raw materials, which is a carry-over from the colonial period.


  • That Kenya and EAC will be under immense pressure to deliver a “successful” 10th Ministerial conference in December, 2015.
  • That consultation of stakeholders including trade unions, small scale manufacturers, Small and Medium Enterprises and parliament were not adequately consulted even after Kenya small scale farmers took government to court.
  • That the governments of East Africa were severely constrained in the negotiations process on account of their financial dependence on the very party – the EU – with which they were negotiating; and they were subjected to meeting unreasonable deadlines unilaterally set by the European Union.
  • That the East African governments, during the negotiations process, faced some challenges trying to harmonize their common positions;
  • That four of the five countries – Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda – being `
  • LDC countries were not obliged to enter into this agreement, and yet they now stand to face trade liberalization of 82.6 per cent over the next 25 years
  • That the East African Partner States face considerable supply side constraints that have not been adequately addressed; and
  • That in the next phase, after the signing of this agreement (assuming this takes place), the East African countries have agreed, under the so-called “Rendezvous Clause”, to begin the process of negotiating on the “Singapore Issues” – competition policy, Procurement, and investment – which have been thrown out of the Doha Round, and thus this new envisaged phase would contradict the letter and spirit of the WTO, and hence WTO-incompatible. These issues obliging EAC countries to give foreign investors national treatment will allow our countries the tools to support local firms and are inappropriate for our level of development.
  • That regional production and trade therefore regional integration will be deeply and negatively affected by the EPA since the EAC would form a common market with the EU. Given that the EU is much more competitive, EU products will have an advantage in the common market. This will marginalize intra-EAC trade, production and effectively, integration.
  • That the level of liberalisation proposed in the EPA will adversely affect food production and food security.
  • That tariff revenues arising from increasing EAC imports from EU, is a source of income from the EAC that is growing every year. This revenue will not be foregone as a result of the EPA and experience elsewhere has shown that it cannot be replaced easily by value added tax.


  1. That the negotiations processes have been seriously flawed and UNDEMOCRATIC.
  2. That EPA should not be signed and ratified since the costs (industrial development, small scale farmers’ livelihoods and regional integration, and tariff revenue) outweigh the benefits (maintenance of preferences only for very few sectors e.g. flowers).
  3. Instead, the region should look into alternatives to the EPAs which include:
  4. Ways of supporting the affected industries if the EPA is not signed
  5. Enhancing intra-EAC and intra-African trade and also trade with other partners.


  1. To take immediate steps to consult with the small scale farmers, small scale manufacturers, and workers - unionised and non-unionised – as the major stakeholders who have repeatedly expressed their legitimate grievance that they have been excluded from the process of negotiations;
  2. To ensure that the recently concluded EPA must be properly discussed in the national and regional parliaments at the local district and provincial levels, and that Kenya, in particular, the discussions should also be taken to the county assemblies;
  3. To ensure that due processes are completed at both national and regional levels before ratification of an agreement that has serious potential fiscal consequences and revenue losses, and put to risk food security, and value-added regional industrialisation.
  4. To ensure that the 10th Ministerial conference in Nairobi puts that African concerns and issues at the centre stage and are not marginalised as witnessed in the previous Ministerial Conferences.
  5. To ensure that policy space and sovereignty of the East African countries are respected, and no action is taken by the governments or the East African community for the signing of the agreement in haste without proper consultations using the EU-recognised “principle of subsidiarity” which obliges our governments to properly consult with people at the lowest levels of our society that might be affected by decisions taken from above.
  6. As far as is possible, not sign and ratify the EPA but for EAC governments to create alternatives to the EPAs so that the sub-region’s current economic development and growth processes will not be derailed.

Dated in Nairobi this 5th March 2015






























































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Last Updated ( Thursday, 21 May 2015 10:26 )
Written by KHRC    Thursday, 30 April 2015 09:49   
Urgent Appeal-The Observatory

KEN 001 / 0415 / OBS 034



April 23, 2015


The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), 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 administrative harassment of Haki Africa and Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI), two human rights organisations, which advocate for constitutional means to counter terrorism while also observing human rights.

According to the information received on April 20, 2015, at approximately 2 p.m., officers of the Kenyan Revenue Authorities (KRA) raided the premises of Haki Africa in Mombasa and seized computers, hard disks, documents and financial files. The officers, who presented a court order and were accompanied by at least four policemen, declared to be investigating on allegations of tax evasion.

The same facts happened on April 21, 2015, at approximately 11 a.m., in the premises of MUHURI, where officers of the KRA presented a warrant mentioning criminal investigation on possible tax evasion. In addition to seizing documents, they also dismantled the office server.

The Observatory recalls that earlier on April 7, 2015, these two organisations<https://www.fidh.org/International-Federation-for-Human-Rights/Africa/kenya/kenya-human-rights-organisations-are-not-terrorist-organizations> had their accounts frozen. This followed their listing as “Entities Suspected to be Associated with Al-Shabaab” by the Kenyan Government, in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Garissa.

Furthermore, the Observatory denounces the administrative harassment against Haki Africa and MUHURI, which seems to merely aim at preventing them from carrying out their legitimate human rights work, and calls on Kenyan authorities to put an end on it.

Finally, the Observatory reiterates its concern regarding the shrinking space imposed by the Government to the Kenyan civil society, following the inclusion of several organisations, among which also Haki Africa and MUHURI, on the official list of terrorist entities as well as the freezing of their bank accounts. Our organisations call for a prompt revision of such list, in order to guarantee full freedom of association for NGOs that are merely carrying out human rights activities.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Kenya, urging them to:

i. Put an end to any kind of harassment – including at the judicial level – against Haki Africa and MUHURI, their members, as well as all human rights defenders in Kenya so that they are able to carry out their work without any hindrances;

ii. Remove immediately and unconditionally MUHURI and Haki Africa from the terrorism list and lift immediately any freezing or restriction of the activities of these organisations;

iii. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of the members of Haki Africa and MUHURI, as well as of all human rights defenders in Kenya;

iv. Comply with all the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, in particular with its Article 1, which provides that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, as well as with Article 12.2 (“the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”);

v. Acknowledge the important role played by civil society in promoting tolerance in the struggle against violent extremism and ensure an enabling environment in which human rights defenders and civil society can operate free from hindrance and insecurity;

vi. More generally, ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Kenya.


• Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, State House, Statehouse Road, P.O Box: 40530 00100, Nairobi, Kenya., Fax: +254-020-2436, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it <mailto: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

• Hon. William Ruto, Deputy-President of the Republic of Kenya, Office of The Deputy President, Harambee Avenue, P.O. Box 74434 - 00200 Nairobi, Kenya., Tel: +254 20 3247000/1/2/3/4/5, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it <mailto: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

• Hon. Joseph Nkaissery, Interior & Coordination of National Government, Harambee House, Harambee Avenue, P.O Box 30510,00100 Nairobi, Tel: +254-20-2227411, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it <mailto: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

•Commissioner of Police, Kenya Police Headquarters, Vigilance House, Harambee Avenue, P.O. Box 30083, Nairobi, Kenya, Tel: +254-020-341411/6/8, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it <mailto: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it <mailto: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

• Commissioner Kagwiria Mbogori, Chairperson, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, Fax: +254-020- 2716160 E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it <mailto: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

• H.E. Mr. Stephen Ndungu Karau, Permanent Mission of Kenya to the United Nations in Geneva, Av. de la Paix 1-3, 1202 Genève, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 731 29 05, E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it <mailto: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

• H.E. Johnson Weru, Embassy of Kenya in Brussels, 208 av. W. Churchill, 1180 Uccle, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 340 10 50 / + 32 2 340 10 68. Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it <mailto: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Please also write to the diplomatic representations of Kenya in your respective countries.


Paris-Geneva, April 23, 2015

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need. The Observatory was the winner of the 1998 Human Rights Prize of the French Republic.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:

•E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it <mailto: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

•Tel and fax FIDH + 33 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80 •Tel and fax OMCT + 41 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 30 April 2015 09:51 )
Written by KHRC    Thursday, 23 April 2015 12:52   
  1. Team Participation
  1. Development and submission of a Country Breif on the situation of Human Rights in Kenya
    • In recognition Kenya’s State Report for 2008-14 that was submitted in February 2015 and other contemporary developments, KHRC will be developing a country brief on the human rights situation in Kenya. While Kenya is not listed for review in this session, it may still be prudent to develop the country brief and seek a bilateral engagement with the Country Rapporteur, Commissioner Pacifique Manyirakiza. The brief will be largely based on the information already submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee (2012), the UN Committee against Torture (2014) and under Universal periodic Review (2015)

      2.  Development and presentation of a statement on Human Rights Situation in Kenya

      • The KHRC team including the Transformative Justice team will develop a 5 -minute statement on the Human Rights Situation in Kenya and present it on the 21st of April, 2015.

         ii. Transformative Justice Thematic Participation

         3. Attend panel discussion on Torture and Death Penalty

      • Follow-up on PARI and CPTA discussions on a General Comment on Article 5 of the African Charter: At the 55th session, ACHPR’s Committee on the Prevention of Torture in Africa (CPTA) and the Pan-African Reparations Initiative (PARI) had commenced a conversation regarding the development of a general comment on Article 5 of the African Charter with regard to reparations and torture. It had been agreed that a technical paper would be presented to CPTA by PARI before the deliberations could go any further.
      • As a member of PARI, KHRC will attend a panel discussion on torture that will take place on 22nd of April and a panel discussion on Death Penalty that will take place on the same date. KHRC will attend a Launch of Guidelines on Conditions of Arrest, Police Custody and Pre-Trial Detention in Africa and Interactive Sessions on Policing and Human Rights: April 25

          4. Draft Resolution on Human Rights and Terrorism

      • Discussions are underway with the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) to draft a resolution on human rights and terrorism for consideration and adoption by the ACHPR.

           5. NGO Forum Panel on Elections

      • With regards to Electoral Governance, KHRC will be a panelist on the first day of the NGO Forum to discuss elections from a human rights perspective with an emphasis on the human rights-based election observation initiatives in Africa. KHRC will in this context discuss its Electoral Observation framework along with preliminary findings from regional election monitoring with the object of influencing similar initiatives in the region.

           6. Transitional Justice

      • Meeting of the Advisory Committee to the Study on Transitional Justice in Africa: Depending on the availability of quorum in Banjul, there is a scheduled status update meeting on the progress made with regard to the Study on Transitional Justice in Africa including a review of the available draft. In any case a meeting with the Commissioner Pacifique as the lead on the study should be scheduled.
      • A side event on Rehabilitation and Reparations organized by Peace through Accountability in Africa Project Partners (PTAAP). In keeping with past practice PTAAP will probably undertake a side-event to discuss rehabilitation and reparations. The deliberations from this event will eventually be synthesized into a brief that will be an published and disseminated alongside the brief of the panel from the last session which was entitled “Transitional Justice: An Effective Tool for Transitional Justice or an Exercise in Futility?”
      • Will participate in a roundtable discussion on South Sudan: At the invitation of Amnesty International, KHRC will be participating in the roundtable discussion entitled, “Waiting for Justice in South Sudan: Exploring the Need, Prospects and Options for Accountability. It will will reflect on the need for justice, take stock of the regional response to the conflict, explore what more can or should be expected from the region, and consider the possible options for pursuing accountability.

          7. Side event on Implementing of decisions from the African Commission

      • KHRC will be participating in a convening on the implementation of decisions from the ACHPR with the possibility of inviting the ACHPR Working Group on Communications.

          iii. Political Plurality and Diversity Participation

          8. General Comment on Article 7(d) of the Maputo Protocol on Women's land and property rights

        Follow up on the advocacy for the adoption of a General Comment on Article 7(d) of the Maputo Protocol. In this regard, we shall hold a meeting with the implementing partners as a follow up to the regional meeting held in June 2014 as well as with Commissioner Maiga, the relevant mandate holder. We will also hold consultative and strategy meetings with IGED Africa and ISLA on how to take the GC forward as well as have meetings with other practitioners and commissioners to garner support for the GC.

           9. Panel Discussion on Elections and HRs

        We shall have a joint side event with the TJ team, FIDH and Amnesty International on Elections in Africa. The PPD team will seek to advance our agenda on enhancing the participation and representation of marginalized and special interest groups. This meeting will also serve as a precursor to a planned regional meeting on electoral governance and political participation and representation to be held later this year under the Ford Global initiatives.

           10. Terrorism and human rights

        KHRC and FIDH will hold a joint side event on terrorism and human rights. In this regard the PPD team will seek to bring into the discussion the interlinkage between counter terrorism and citizenship and ethnic and racial discrimination.

          11. Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

        On SOGIE, we shall seek to build on the partnerships we have been exploring with regional actors and to further the discussion on monitoring the extent of States’ compliance with the ACHPR Resolution[1] passed in 2014. We will also highlight recent developments in Kenya on the same.

        We shall further have strategy discussions with partners across the continent on countering the anti-homosexuality legislation ripple.

          12. General

        Preparation of a thematic brief and statement as part of the institutional country brief and NGO statement respectively shall be done. PPD shall also hold advocacy meetings with relevant mandate holders and other partners on thematic and areas of interest.

          iv. Economic and Social Justice Thematic Participation

        1. The Extractive Industry and Corporate Accountability

        Kenya is currently experiencing a surge in the entry of Multi-National Corporations (MNCs) seeking to exploit natural resources such as coal, oil and gas along with large-scale commercial agriculture. The entry of MNCs and the increased activity of natural resource extraction have however brought with it several human rights concerns. Community land is increasingly being appropriated by the government to facilitate the activities of MNCs without the requisite safeguards in the absence of community land legislation. Large-scale projects such as the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project pose a threat health, culture and livelihoods of several communities as the project commenced without the necessary environmental and social impact assessments being undertaken. Concerns over equitable benefit sharing of natural resources have also been expressed by various communities who have lost land to the extractive industry.

        Some MNCs also stand accused of presiding over poor working conditions and other labour related violations such as unfair dismissal of workers, denying workers the opportunity to join or form unions, a disproportionate employment of foreign workers to the detriment of local communities and sexual offences within the work place.

        We call on the Commission to remind the Kenyan government of obligation to ensure effective public participation and transparency in any land acquisition process as articulated in article 55 (d) of the Principles and Guidelines on the Implementation of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The government should be compelled to enact legislation on community land, agreements relating to natural resources and equitable benefit sharing of natural resources without further delay. The government should develop a National Action Plan on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights as well as develop an effect and appropriate non-judicial grievance mechanism as a supplement to Kenya’s judicial system in offering remedies for business-related human rights abuses. Lastly we request the Commission to consider undertaking a baseline survey on the impact MNCs on human rights in Kenya.

            2. Corruption

        Kenya continues to experience numerous instances of corruption at the highest levels of government that threatens to undermine the principle of governance based on human rights, equality, freedom, democracy, social justice and the rule of law. The Auditor General recently made an alarming admission that half of the country’s annual budget is either misappropriated or “squandered”.

        Corruption has also occasioned a loss of public trust in critical public institutions such as the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC). Several IEBC officials have been implicated in a series of procurement-related scandals dubbed ‘chicken-gate’ that have seen the conviction of directors of a London-based company by the British courts on account of bribing the said IEBC officials in order to receive tenders for the printing of election materials. The imputation of corruption in such a critical public institution raises considerable concern in the face of the upcoming 2017 general elections and in the light of the 2007-08 post-election violence that was triggered by the lack of public trust in the management of elections by the now defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK).

        We however acknowledge the recent re-dedication by the President to combat corruption as stated in his third State of the Nation Address; where he forwarded to Parliament, a confidential report from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) indicating the status of pending investigations against public officials and; directed that all officials of the National and County governments adversely mentioned in the report should step aside pending conclusion of the investigations. We however further note with concern, that this re-dedication by the President has seen been plagued with in-fighting among the EACC Commissioners and allegations of interference in the affairs of the EACC being levelled at the Executive where officials in the Office of the President have been accused of trying to compel EACC Commissioners to resign from office.

        We call on the Commission to encourage the government to translate the President’s pledge on fighting corruption into a comprehensive and transparent process based on the rule of law and our Constitution’s standards on leadership and integrity. The government should refrain from any actions that interfere with the independence of the EACC and therefore undermine or taint any ongoing investigations. The fight against corruption must be comprehensive and shielded against any possible accusations of political bias. In light of the centrality of the IEBC in the management of the upcoming 2017 general elections, we call on the government to speedily conclude the investigation of IEBC officials implicated in the “chicken-gate” scandal.

           3. Labour Rights

        Labour rights remain a critical concern particularly among workers in the agricultural sector. For instance, the minimum wage set by government at Kenya Shillings (Ksh.) 4,854 and 9,780 for unskilled workers in the agricultural sector and domestic workers respectively is still insufficient in affording workers a decent standard of living that allows them to access other economic, social and cultural rights. In this regard, the government has exhibited complacency in defining and adopting a living wage.

        We call on the Commission to encourage Kenya to expediently conduct a study to determine what constitutes a living wage in Kenya and based on the findings from that study, develop a living wage policy.

        [1] Resolution on Violence and Human Rights Violation against Persons on the Basis of their Imputed or Real Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Africa

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        Last Updated ( Thursday, 23 April 2015 13:33 )
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