In its resolution speaking to the escalation of terror activities in Kenya by the Al Shabab group, the ACHPR stands in solidarity with Kenya expressing its dismay at the tragic loss of life and acknowledges the role played by Kenya in combating terror within and outside its borders as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The ACHPR however goes on to caution the Kenyan government against the use of retaliatory measures such as collective punishment, expulsion of refugees, freezing of funds, suspension of various civil society organizations and the threat of closure of refugee camps suspected of having links with terrorism. This is a positon that KHRC ascribes to and is reflected in its Country Brief on the Human Rights Situation in Kenya which was submitted to the ACHPR for consideration during this session.

Davis Malombe, the Ag. Executive Director at KHRC stated, “This resolution critically reaffirms that the fight against terror must not be allowed to undermine the fundamental rights and freedoms of the public in the guise of enhancing security. Kenya’s strength lies in its diversity and values of human rights, equality, freedom, democracy, social justice and the rule of law. We must not reward Al Shabab by turning our backs on these values”

The resolution on the right to rehabilitation provides a critical reflection on rehabilitation as a core component of the broader right to reparation, noting that it lacks sufficient clarity and is hampered primarily by financial constraints. The ACHPR however urged States to implement domestic laws prohibiting torture with clear provisions on rehabilitation. The resolution further calls for States to offer appropriate medical care and access to appropriate social rehabilitation to victims of torture and their dependents. KHRC stands in support of this resolution, having co-convened a side-event with partners entitled, “Realizing the Right to Rehabilitation and Reparation in Africa”, on the margins of the session and submitting a proposed Resolution on the Right to Rehabilitation for consideration by the ACHPR during this session.

Andrew Songa, the Program Manager- Transformative Justice at KHRC described the resolution as “A significant step in enhancing the meaning of reparation for victims of torture. Our experience in working with victims of torture and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from the post-election violence points to a clear gap in State interventions in as far as rehabilitation is concerned. Furthermore, the Kenyan government should consider the resolution as a wakeup call to finally enact legislation on the prohibition of torture.”

KHRC continues to value the ACHPR as a regional platform for illuminating and addressing human rights concerns and will avail itself as a strategic partner in seeking to implement the objectives of these resolutions and by extension realize the vision of Human Rights States and Societies. Read more on KHRC’s activities at the 56th session here.