For Immediate Release
Human rights groups in Kenya today said the death toll has reached 24 in post-election demonstrations since balloting was held on August 8. Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), which has long worked to ensure justice and accountability for human rights violations in Kenya, has issued the following statement attributable to Christine Alai, head of PHR’s Kenya office:
“As demonstrations here in Kenya continue, we at Physicians for Human Rights fully support the rights of those who are engaging in peaceful protests. We are alarmed and saddened by reports of multiple deaths and injuries, and we condemn the use of live ammunition or any type of excessive force against unarmed, peaceful protesters. At this volatile time, all Kenyans must respect the rights, dignity, property, and lives of their fellow citizens.
“We are particularly concerned by credible reports that police have forcefully entered people’s homes, extorted them, and threatened rape and sexual violence. Such horrendous threats are intolerable and have no place in a rights-abiding society. For ten long years, survivors of sexual violence that took place after the 2007 elections have been fighting for justice and against impunity; the threats we are witnessing this week harken back to that dark chapter in Kenya’s recent history that should never be repeated.
“We call on the Independent Policing Oversight Authority and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution to swiftly, justly, and impartially investigate all allegations of crime or misconduct and hold responsible officers and their commanders accountable. At this fragile moment, we must call out human rights violations and demand that the rights of all Kenyans be respected.”
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.