Amnesty slams ‘slow justice’ in Kenya

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IOL pic apr23 kenyatta file

Associated Press

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (foreground). File picture: Andrew Winning

London - Amnesty International on Tuesday condemned what it said was the Kenyan government's continued failure to properly investigate and deliver justice and compensation to victims of the 2007-2008 post-election violence.

“Six years after post-election violence rocked Kenya, the victims are still awaiting justice. It is vital that their voices are heard and urgent action is taken,” said Amnesty secretary general Salil Shetty.

About 1 000 people died and 600 000 others were displaced when ruling party and opposition supporters clashed over disputed poll results, in the worst unrest to hit the east African country since independence in 1963.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto and radio boss Joshua Arap Sang are facing crimes against humanity charges at The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC), although no alleged ringleaders have been pursued in Kenya.

“Many of the displaced have yet to be resettled or compensated, many of the injured or the families of those killed have yet to receive reparation to help rebuild their shattered lives and most of the perpetrators have yet to face justice,” Shetty said.

Amnesty said its report, based on interviews with victims of the violence and consultations with civil society groups, found that many victims were desperate for assistance to help them recover from injuries sustained and property and livelihoods destroyed in the violence.

It said victims felt disillusioned with and excluded from the justice system and frustrated that perpetrators are still at large.

“I know the people who took my property in Kericho. Our children were raped and we know who raped them,” one victim was quoted as saying.

The report said some victims did not go to the police for fear of reprisals, and that others who did were asked for money or threatened.

“Justice delayed is justice denied and the victims of Kenya's post-election violence have waited long enough,” said Muthoni Wanyeki, regional director for East Africa at Amnesty.

“Both the Kenyan government and parliament have consistently obstructed efforts to investigate and prosecute those suspected of committing crimes under international law.

“It is time to end impunity, to provide reparation for those who have suffered and to finally bring this shameful chapter in our history to a close.” - AFP


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