Amnesty International Kenya condemns the increasing trend by the Kenyan authorities to undermine the lawful right to assemble and protest under Article 37.
Today,19 June 2019, citizens were teargassed and violently dispersed without any justification. Under the banner ‘#Africans4Sudan’ the citizens had gathered to express solidarity with Sudanese citizens who are calling for democratic change in this neighboring country. At least two citizens have been arrested.
Their assembly leaders had duly notified the Police in accordance with the law and were peacefully proceeding with their procession for a good cause.
“Violently dispersing protesters who have complied with every legal requirement of the Constitution, International human rights standards and is an unjustified, unnecessary and disproportionate threat to Kenyan’s fundamental right to peaceably and non-violently assemble and express their opinion on matters of public interest.” said Irungu Houghton, Amnesty International Kenya Executive Director.
We remind the authorities that Kenya is not under a state of emergency nor is the constitution suspended. The right to protest is an entitlement of every person and not a privilege granted by the State.
“The right of Kenyans to publicly protest and freely express themselves has shaped the Kenyan democracy before and after independence. Guaranteed under Article 37 of the Constitution, it will continue to do so in the future. The Kenyan authorities need to enter into dialogue with civic organizations on ways of managing public protest non-violently.” added Irungu Houghton.
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