Kenya: Government De-Registers Human Rights NGO

Washington

In response to the Kenyan government today cancelling the registration needed by the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) to continue its work, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“The timing of the government’s decision to act against KHRC is deeply troubling and suggests that the action is linked to KHRC questioning the conduct of last week’s general elections,” said Jenai Cox, senior program manager for Africa at Freedom House. “NGOs like KHRC, and all of civil society, should be allowed to conduct their work free from political interference, which is essential to a functioning democracy.”

Background:

The NGO Coordination Board issued a notice of de-registration to KHRC on the grounds of tax evasion and misappropriation. It came less than a week after Kenya’s general elections, which saw the ruling Jubilee party win both the Presidency and a majority of the seats in parliament, results disputed by the opposition coalition, NASA.  At least 24 people were killed over the weekend in election-related violence. KHRC has raised concerns about the announcement of provisional results, alleged discrepancies with the final vote count, and security forces' responses to protests. 

Kenya is rated Party Free in Freedom in the World 2017, Partly Free in Freedom of the Press 2017, and Free in Freedom on the Net 2016

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.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter (freedomhousedc). Stay up to date with Freedom House’s latest news and events by signing up for our newsletter and our blog.