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Kenya: Amnesty International calls on government and African commission to act

As Kofi Annan announces the results of the political mediation in Kenya and the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights begins an extraordinary session to discuss the human rights situation in the country, Amnesty International called on the Commission and Kenyan government to prioritize an investigation into the human rights violations and abuses perpetrated during the post-election period.

The African Commission will be meeting in an extraordinary session in Banjul, Gambia to discuss developments in Kenya, amongst other issues, between 15 and 24 February.

“A human rights agenda must be central to any resolution of the political crises – which means that those responsible for the violence must be brought to justice, and the victims receive reparations. Impunity for human rights violations will only store up problems for Kenya’s future, and we hope that the African Commission will play its role in ensuring that this does not happen” said Erwin van der Borght, Director of Amnesty International’s Africa Programme, who has just returned from a fact-finding mission to Kenya.

Amnesty International called on the African Commission to:
-Urge the Kenyan government to investigate all allegations of human rights violations and ensure that suspected perpetrators are held responsible through trials that comply with international standards.
-Undertake an investigative mission to Kenya to assess the human rights situation. The Commission's Special Rapporteur on Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Internally Displaced Persons and Migrants in Africa and the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in Africa should be an integral part of the mission. The report of the mission with specific recommendations should be submitted to the African Union's Heads of States Assembly soon after the visit and subsequently be made public.
-Call on the Kenyan government and opposition to ensure the full respect for human rights by their supporters.

Background information
Since 30 December, more than 1,000 people have been killed in politically motivated or ethnic attacks in Kenya. This number includes numerous people shot dead by the police, who were deployed to quell the violence or break up mass protests called by the opposition against the results of the presidential elections.

According to estimates, over 300,000 people have become internally displaced as a result of the violence and more than 10,000 others have fled to Uganda as refugees.

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