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Rights agency asks Kibaki, PM to show support of ICC

By | September 30th 2010 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

By STANDARD TEAM

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights has petitioned President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to show commitment to the International Criminal Court (ICC) process.

Commissioners led by Omar Hassan said conflicting statements on the ICC process issued by Cabinet ministers was baffling.

He said refusal by senior Government officials to release crucial information relating to post-election violence to the ICC investigators was undermining the fight against impunity.

Mr Omar said there was a systematic scheme to derail the investigation adding that those implicated in post-election violence must face justice.

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"Those planning to puncture the process whether high or mighty must know that Kenyans are united in their resolve to end impunity," he said.

Omar spoke at the KNCHR offices in Nairobi accompanied by chairperson Florence Jaoko and commissioners Fatuma Dulo and Mohammed Hallo.

And Religious leaders have asked the Government to facilitate The Hague to carry out its mandate.

Government faulted

National Council of Churches of Kenya Secretary-General Canon Peter Karanja on Wednesday faulted the Government for lacking the will to bring justice to victims of post-election violence.

He said Justice Mutula Kilonzo’s sentiments that the new Constitution could deal with the perpetrators were a clear indication that Government is reluctant to end impunity.

"We still do not have faith that there is political will to prosecute perpetrators of violence. We have not seen any serious effort to bring justice since no one has been arrested," he said.

It is important, Karanja said, that Kenyans who lost their loved ones and millions worth of property get justice.

Meanwhile, 12 human rights organisations in Rift Valley are working with victims of the post-election violence to identify lawyers to represent them in the expected trial of post-election violence suspects at The Hague.

The organisations working under an umbrella body – Rift Valley Human Rights Network are have contacted more than 500 victims of the violence.

Centre for Human Rights and Democracy Executive Director Ken Wafula, speaking on behalf of the organisations said victims of the mayhem regard ICC as the only reliable avenue to realise justice.

"At least 200 widows, orphans, widowers and another 300 families of people killed during the clashes have come forward seeking legal representation," Wafula said.

He said The Hague should consider picking lawyers from areas where the violence occurred.

"Recruitment of local lawyers as potential legal representatives makes victims develop further confidence in the ICC process," said Mr Wafula.

More than 50 lawyers from Rift Valley have submitted applications to represent the victims during the hearings in the past week.

Story by Mutinda Mwanzia, Lucianne Limo and Vitalis Kimutai


ICC Hague Ocampo Canon peter Karanja KNCHRE KNCHR
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