Kenya: Court Declares NGOs Did No Wrong
In response to the decision by Kenya’s High Court to unfreeze the assets of Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI) and Haki Africa and to nullify their designation as being associated with al-Shabaab, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“We welcome the High Court’s decision to lift the ban on Haki Africa and Muhuri,” said Mark P. Lagon, president of Freedom House. “We hope the Court continues to uphold the 2010 Constitution and guarantee fundamental rights to freedom of association and assembly for all Kenyans. The Kenyan government should be held accountable for making unfounded accusations about the groups and violating due process.”
In April 2015, Muhuri and Haki Africa, two human rights organizations working to counter violent extremism in Kenya, were placed on a list of organizations accused of supporting al-Shabaab. The government suspended their work and froze their bank accounts. In June, the organizations were removed from this list but their accounts remained frozen. In its ruling, the Court found that the organizations were “denied their right to fair administrative process” and that the government did not provide sufficient evidence to link the organizations to terrorist activities.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.