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Alston hits out at team to Geneva

By | July 5th 2009

By Beauttah Omanga

The UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston has criticised the Kenyan delegation to Geneva last month.

Speaking for the first time, Alston, who conducted research and filed a report with the UN on human rights situation in Kenya, said the team failed to address issues he unearthed and opted to be on the defensive.

"It is unfortunate that, instead of being able to focus on this issue, the council was presented with a range of procedural challenges which ignored the substance of the issue," he stated in a statement issued from Geneva.

Prof Alston, the special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, said he had been compelled to issue the statement "seeking to correct certain misunderstandings which have been presented in the Kenyan media".

Skewed report

Internal Security Minister George Saitoti led a joint Government delegation to Geneva a month ago and defended the Government’s record against Alston’s damning report.

Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo maintained the findings were skewed and accused Alston of acting outside his mandate and seeking to cause a rift in Government.

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However, the delegation after intense consultations on the sidelines of the conference accepted to act on some of the recommendations.

He faulted a statement issued by Government Spokesman Alfred Mutua that suggested a resolution proposed by China and Cuba on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement and by Russia, and adopted by consensus by the Human Rights Council, "arose from the African Group’s criticism of his report. "This is simply incorrect. This resolution emerged from a different process and was not directed at any individual special rapporteur."

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