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24.01.2012 Kenya

Accountability for the crimes committed during 2007-2008 post-election violence in Kenya :Four leaders charged with crimes against humanity before the ICC

By International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH)
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PARIS, France, January 24, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and its member organisation in Kenya, the Kenyan Human Rights Commission (KHRC), welcome the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II decision to confirm the charges against William Samoei Ruto, Joshua Arap Sang, Francis Kirimi Muthaura and Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and commit them to trial for crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the 2007-2008 post-election violence in Kenya. Our organisations take note that for Henry Kiprono Kosgey and Mohammed Hussein Ali the evidence presented by the Office of the Prosecutor was considered as insufficient and lead the ICC Judges to decline to confirm the charges against them.

« The confirmation of charges against four main Kenyan figures is an important step for victims of the crimes committed during the 2007-2008 post-election violence who are expecting impunity to end and perpetrators to be held accountable », said Patrick Baudouin, FIDH Honorary President. « We hope it will contribute to deterring potential future violence, in particular with a view to the upcoming Presidential elections due to be held at the end of 2012 » he added.

In this regard, our organisations regret that Mr. Ruto and Mr. Kenyatta, charged with crimes against humanity and facing trial before the ICC, confirmed that they intend to stand as candidates in the next Kenyan Presidential elections, disregarding the provisions of Chapter 6 of the Kenyan Constitution on leadership and integrity.

« Although the ICC Prosecutor still has the possibility to present additional evidence and request another hearing to confirm charges, it is particularly unfortunate that, in the case against Mohammed Hussein Ali, former chief of police, the Prosecutor failed to produce strong evidence on the role of the police in the commission of crimes during the post-election violence » said Atsango Chesoni, KHRC Executive Director.

Our organisations call upon the Kenyan authorities to fully cooperate with the International Criminal Court and facilitate the appearance of the four accused persons before the Court. National authorities should implement the principle of complementarity by initiating national independant and impartial judicial proceedings against other perpetrators who also bear responsibility for the serious human rights violations committed.

FIDH and KHRC also welcome the ICC Prosecutor's commitment to continue to collect evidence against the 4 accused sent to trial as well as against Kosgey and Ali and other alleged perpetrators who bear the highest responsibility.

FIDH and KHRC call upon the ICC Registrar to actively implement a proactive outreach strategy in Kenya to explain this decision and prepare the opening of the trials, in the context of future elections. The Registrar should also facilitate the process of examination of the numerous pending application of victims to participate in the proceedings and further explain to the victims their right to apply for participation. The two common victims' legal representation teams should receive the legal aid needed to prepare for these trials.

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