KENYA: Respect Human Rights while Enforcing Curfew, Bishop Oballa tells Police

NAIROBI, MARCH 31, 2020 (CISA)-The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops-Justice and Peace Commission has condemned police’s brutality and harassment of Kenyans caught up in the night curfews.

On March 25, President Uhuru Kenyatta issued a nationwide curfew from 7pm to 5am starting Friday, March 27 to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.

“We witnessed with shock, as vulnerable members of the society such as women, children and also some critical actors such as journalists and food suppliers being equally harassed by security officers,” reads a March 28 statement signed by Bishop John Oballa Owaa, chairman of the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission.

He appealed to the enforcement officers to respect Human Rights, Rule of Law and Access to Justice in enforcing the curfew.

“We urge the Police and other security personnel to also follow the directives by the Government on social distancing when controlling crowds and enforcing laws,” it reads.

While appreciating Kenyans for their hardworking and resilient nature in ensuring their livelihood and of their families continue uninterrupted, Bishop Oballa called on the government to support them in providing an enabling environment.

“We are aware that majority of Kenyans, especially those living in low income areas rely on daily earnings and must continue with their activities. It is also our responsibility to pay attention to the requirement that we all must be home between 7.00 pm to 5.00 am. This is for our own good and for the good of all those we live with and even encounter in the course of our activities,” he added.

To ensure Kenyans are not caught up in the curfew, Bishop Oballa advised employers to ensure they work out plans to safeguard their employees.

“We need to look for options that accommodate every category of Kenyans during this critical period including creatively search for our own solutions,” he said.

Bishop Oballa stressed on the need for collaboration and adherence to the required measures put to help fight the spread of coronavirus.

Kenya has recorded 59 positive cases of covid-19.