In the age of insecurity, it's either human rights or national security

THEME In the age of insecurity, its either human rights or national security
DATE Friday 8th April 2016, 4.30 - 7.00pm
VENUE Mageuzi Theater - Pawa254, Africa Alliance of YMCAs Building, State House Crescent, off State House Road, Nairobi

Bernard Mogesa PHRO - Kenya National Commission on Human Rights
Stephen Kinuthia Coordinator - Mathare Social Justice Center
Peter K. Kattam OCPD - Kilimani Division
Irungu Houghton Associate Director - Society for International Development
Renee Ngamau Co-host - Capital in the Morning, Capital FM

EVENT BRIEFING NOTE: Kenya’s efforts to tackle a wide array of security threats have been characterized by serious human rights violations by security forces, including extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detentions, and torture. Suspects of both petty and serious crimes have been shot dead in public spaces, abducted from their homes, vehicles and courtrooms, severely beaten during arrest, detained and denied contact with their families or access to lawyers. Peaceful demonstrations have also been quelled by  use of unnecessary force by Kenya’s security apparatus. Despite evidence of these abuses, the government rarely investigates or prosecutes abusive security officers.

Despite such criticisms, Kenya’s security forces continue to place their lives at risk while in the line of duty. According to the 2014 Kenya Police Service Annual Crime Report, 40 police officers lost their lives while on duty. A notable deadly attack on the police occurred in Kapendo along Turkana/West Pokot/Baringo Counties where 23 Police Officers were killed and 10 injured  by an unknown number of bundits. Attacks on the police while on patrol have been reported across the country.       

The modern security threats highlight twin objectives: state security and human rights. Structured around a moderator and discussants, this 8th dialogue of the SID Mjadala Series brings together key civic actors to reflect on strategies of how to explore practical ideas on how we can bridge the national security-human rights divide. Some of the key questions we will explore are:

  1. What would a human rights-centred approach to counter-terrorism, policing look like?
  2. How can the State remain a defender of human rights in the age of insecurity?
  3. What is the cost of arbitrary arrests and extra-judicial killings on our society today?
  4. How well has the State dealt with cases of abusive security officers?

Watch a recording of Mjadala VII here