Kenyan Government Challenges OHCHR over Protest Violence Allegations

The Kenya Kwanza government has lodged a complaint against the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) following a statement made last week, which attributed the use of excessive force by the police to handle protestors. In a letter addressed to the UN on Sunday, the administration led by President William Ruto, through the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Kenya, accused OHCHR of relying on third-party information that unfairly criticized the Kenyan government for police brutality.

The letter expressed concern about the quality and reliability of the data used by OHCHR, claiming that the organization failed to establish the facts before making such critical statements. The Kenyan government argued that OHCHR’s depiction of the protests was inaccurate and misinformed. They contested OHCHR’s designation of the events as “peaceful protests,” stating that this characterization did not align with the documented reality on the ground. They also claimed that the violence was confined to specific areas and not representative of the entire country.

The Kenyan government emphasized its recognition of the responsibility to uphold the rights to peaceful assembly and protest while reaffirming its commitment to peace, democracy, and human rights. Additionally, they called on OHCHR to acknowledge the actions of Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga and retired President Uhuru Kenyatta during the protests.

The Kenyan government expressed dissatisfaction with OHCHR’s statement, challenging the organization’s use of information and contesting the portrayal of the protests as peaceful. They affirmed their commitment to human rights and urged OHCHR to consider the actions of key leaders involved in the demonstrations.


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