KENYA: Probe on commitment to end torture starts

TORTUREAgainst the backdrop of numerous reports of torture by state security agencies, the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), the principal global civil society coalition against torture, has commenced a fact-finding mission to Kenya.

OMCT announced it was starting the mission on Tuesday this week in partnership with a coalition of Kenyan NGOs to assess the implementation of the country’s anti-torture laws and policies.

The delegation will discuss with government agencies namely, the Kenyan National Commission of Human Rights, government authorities, including the Attorney General’s office, police and prison authorities as a way forward in implementing the findings and recommendations made in the last two years by the main UN human rights bodies to prevent torture and to end impunity.

The visit comes after the United Nations Committee Against Torture, the authoritative universal anti-torture body made multiple recommendations to the Kenyan authorities about ways to implement the United Nations Convention Against Torture. Earlier in 2012 the United Nations Committee on Human Rights had also identified the fight against torture and for better prison conditions as a priority concern.

The current mission is composed of the OMCT Secretary General, Gerald Staberock, and OMCT Vice President and former senior UN human rights official, José Dougan-Beaca, and conducted in partnership with the Kenyan Section of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ Kenya), The Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU), The Coalition of Violence Against Women, (COVAW) Legal Resources Foundation (LRF-K) and The Kenya Alliance for the Advancement of Children (KAARC)

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