Curfew: Human rights activists want included in essential services list

Monday, March 30th, 2020 13:30 | By
A police officer confronts a man when implementing the curfew. Photo/File

Human rights activist group, Defenders Coalition, has called on the government to enlist rights activists as critical and essential service providers during the curfew period.

They have asked the State to exempt the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), Kenya National Commission of Human Rights (KNCHR) and the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) from the curfew.

The group Executive Director Kamau Mburu says what happened on Friday March 27 called for urgent oversight to the police enforcing the curfew.

“By classifying these actors as essential service providers in the monitoring the implementation of government directives being implemented by state actors, that if not closely monitored may result to abuse of other fundamental human rights and freedoms. From Friday and previous experiences, this has proven the case,” says Kamau Ngugi, Executive Director, Defenders Coalition.

On March 25, the State announced a 7pm-5am curfew to control the spread of coronavirus.

The State listed 13 service providers whose services deemed so basic to Kenyans therefore being exempted.

On the first day of the curfew, police descended upon civilians in some sections of the country with brutality. Mombasa had the most cases. At Likoni Ferry channel, over one hundred commuters were forced to lie flat on the ground for 'defying police orders'.

The activists have urgued that lack of police oversight during the curfew may lead to massive violation of human rights.

Even though the nation is fighting coronavirus, Defenders Coalition maintains that human rights are fundamental.

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