Politicians accused of intimidating human rights watchdogs

Politicians have been accused of harassing human rights groups in the ongoing election campaigns.

The National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (NCHRD) said on Monday that it had received 13 cases of human rights defenders (HRDs) being intimidated since April.

In a recent report, NCHRD said lobbies, election monitors, observers, journalists and other civil society actors had faced intimidation and negative rhetoric by politicians including harassment, threats and arrests in the last three months.

“These reports have either been addressed by the HRDs at county level, supported by the NCHRD or referred to partner organisations for urgent action. Alternatively, they have been reported to the relevant State institutions for intervention.”

Reported cases

Among the reported cases were statements allegedly made by Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba dismissing HRDs as “wale watu wakuleta fitina” (those malicious people) at a campaign rally.

It was also reported that an editor of Wajir Chronicles, a local publication, was barred from the venue of a political rally while an observer with the Election Observer Group was arrested in April and detained in a police station as she covered a fight between two rival Jubilee Party camps in Garissa County.


Incorporate intellectual rights in manifestos

The report is part of an exercise by NCHRD to document election malpractices, human rights violations and triggers of violence, with the help of 73 individuals from various counties.

The exercise covers party primaries and the campaign period, actual elections and the post-election phase.


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