KNCHR calls out IG Koome for threatening protesting doctors

Kenya National Commission on Human Rights chairperson Roseline odede (right) with commissioner Prof. Marion Mutugi. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) has called for the immediate cessation of threats against doctors who are protesting.

This follows a statement by the Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome asking police commanders to deal with doctors on strike ‘firmly’.

“In the interest of national security, therefore, all respective Police Commanders have been instructed to deal with such situations firmly and decisively following the law,” Koome said in his Sunday, April 14, statement.

In a rejoinder, KNCHR chairperson Roseline Odede said protestors should not be threatened but be provided with adequate security.

“The KNCHR maintains that national security shall be pursued with utmost respect for the rule of law and human rights as provided for in Article 238 (d) of the Constitution of Kenya Article 37 of the Constitution unequivocally guarantees the right of every person peaceably and unarmed, to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket, and to present petitions to public authorities. It is the duty of the state to secure the rights of both the protestors and non-protesters,” she said.

Additionally, Odede called upon the government and the medical practitioners to resolve the outstanding issues urgently so that the doctors can return to work.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has since proceeded to court, accusing the Inspector General of Police of contravening the constitution.

The union also wants Koome to apologise for the Feb 29 assault on KMPDU Secretary-General Davji Atellah by police.

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