Security law violates Constitution : rights group - Daily Nation

Security law violates Constitution, says Human Rights Watch

Sunday December 21 2014

The National Assembly in session. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The National Assembly in session. FILE PHOTO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By KEVIN J. KELLEY
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New York

Kenya's newly enacted security law undermines rights and freedoms guaranteed in the country's Constitution, Human Rights Watch said on Saturday.

“Laws that violate fundamental rights and are open to abuse by security forces aren’t the right solution to Kenya’s security crisis,” commented Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director at New York-based advocacy group.

“Protecting security and human rights at the same time is not contradictory, and Kenya’s leaders should reconsider their course.”

HRW also suggested that the new measure violates international law by forcing refugees and asylum-seekers into camps and capping the number allowed to enter Kenya.

The US State Department expressed similar concerns on Friday.

LIMIT FREEDOM

A department spokeswoman said provisions in the security law "appear to limit freedom of assembly and media and access to asylum for refugees."

The statement by a State Department official added, "We expect the Kenyan government to ensure that its counterterrorism efforts live up to Kenya's international commitments and its own constitution."

A report issued in August by Human Rights Watch charged that the Kenyan security forces, including the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit, have carried out a series of extra-judicial killings. Saturday's statement by the group notes that the government "has failed to acknowledge or investigate" those allegations.