In October 2016, the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (OBS), an advocacy partnership between the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), conducted an international fact-finding mission to assess the deteriorating environment for human rights defenders in Kenya. The report, “2017 Elections: Broken Promises Put Human Rights Defenders at Risk,” highlights the repeated use of state-sponsored violence against Kenyan activists.
It has been nearly one year since the global #StopExtraJudicialKillings protests erupted after Willie Kimani, a Nairobi human rights lawyer; his client Josephat Mwenda, an activist; and Joseph Muiruri, a taxi driver, were found dead in the Ol-Donyo Sabuk River in Eastern Kenya. Kimani had been working on a lawsuit against members of law enforcement for their use of violence against Mwenda. In July 2016, Kenyan authorities accused four police officers of committing the murders, however, the investigation is still ongoing.
The report also focuses on the government delays in implementing critical reforms such as the 2013 Public Benefit Organizations (PBO) Act. Read the full report here to learn more about how state-sponsored violence has silenced political dissent and perpetuated a culture of impunity in Kenya.
Antoine Bernard is a World Movement for Democracy Steering Committee member and the Executive Director of FIDH.