Press Statement of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the death of Mr. Christopher Msando

    The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission), particularly through the Commissioner Rapporteur responsible for the Human Rights Situation in the Republic of Kenya, Commissioner Solomon Ayele Dersso, is closely monitoring the human rights situation in the Republic of Kenya in this period leading up to the national general elections scheduled to take place on 08 August 2017.

    The Rapporteur, recalling Resolution 311 on Elections in Africa - ACHPR/Res. 331 (EXT.OS/XIX)2016 of the Commission, stresses the need for free, fair, credible and peaceful elections in Kenya on 08 August 2017. The Rapporteur further underscores that central to conducting successful and peaceful elections is ensuring the protection and upholding of all human and peoples’ rights under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter), to which Kenya is a state party.

    In this context, it is with regret and deep concern that the Rapporteur learned of the brutal killing of Mr. Christopher Msando, the Systems Development Manager of the Kenyan Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), whose body was found on 29 July 2017 after he had been missing for three days.

    The Rapporteur strongly condemns this killing and act of violence.

    In this regard, the Rapporteur:

    1.     Urges the Government of the Republic of Kenya to ensure that prompt, independent and thorough investigations take place into the killing of Mr. Msando in accordance with paragraph 7 of the General Comment No. 3 on the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights: The Right to Life (Article 4);

    2.     Further urges the Government to inform the Public on the steps being taken to conduct such investigations and bring those responsible to justice;

    3.     Urges the Government to take steps to ensure that adequate protection is provided to key staff of the IEBC, including through increased security measures;

    4.     Reminds the Republic of Kenya that it bears responsibility for ensuring that steps are taken to prevent any intimidation or threats of violence against members of the IEBC or any member of the public;

    5.     Urges all candidates and Kenyan political actors to uphold tolerance and mutual respect and refrain from acts or pronouncements that incite violence; and

    6.     Calls on all state institutions with the responsibility for the peaceful, credible and successful convening of the elections to uphold their responsibilities with the utmost integrity and with due respect to the values of the Constitution of Kenya, the rule of law and human and peoples’ rights.

    The Commission will continue to monitor developments in the leadup to, during and following the upcoming elections and calls on all Kenyans to ensure that elections are conducted freely and in a fair manner free from violence.

    Honourable Commissioner Solomon Ayele Dersso, Commissioner Rapporteur for the Republic of Kenya

    Dakar, 01 August 2017

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      Date: 01 August 2017

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