Civil Society ‘Celebrates’ Victory Against Security Law


ICPC praised the High Court for upholding the constitutional fundamental rights and freedoms of Kenyans by striking out controversial sections of the Security Laws (Amendment) Act 2014.

In a statement to newsrooms, ICPC says it will seek to challenge in court, the sections of the Act that give room to political executive to control National Police Service, contrary to constitutional safeguard of institutional independence.

ICPC further says Kenyans have won the comprehensive Bill of Rights as contained in the Constitution of Kenya 2010 through pain, torture and death.

It argues that the Bill of Rights Chapter in the Constitution is not state given saying that it is a product of Kenyan citizenry determined struggle to fully enjoy human freedoms.

"We are strongly concerned by the impact of transnational organized crime such as terrorism. However, to concretely tackle the problem, government must strengthen weak governance and rule of law, reform law enforcement systems and improve their oversight accountability, stem out endemic corruption and establish healthy linkages with the civil society. Further a comprehensive approach to fight transnational organized must factor inclusion, economic deprivation and meaningful dialogue," noted ICPC.

CURBING TERRORISM

ICPC further notes that today’s threats to security are all interconnected.

"We can no longer afford to see problems such as terrorism in isolation. The challenge is for the government to adopt proactive strategies that are must be comprehensive. State institutions must overcome their narrow silos preoccupations and learn to work across the whole range of issues, in concerted efforts," said ICPC Executive Director Ndung’u Wainaina.

Eight 'offensive' clauses in the controversial Security Laws (Amendment) Act 2014 were on Monday declared unconstitutional by the High Court, striking a blow against the government’s push for tough measures to curb terrorism but signalling a victory for citizen freedoms and human rights.

Judges Isaac Lenaola, Mumbi Ngugi, Hillary Chemitei, Hedwig Ong’udi and Joseph Onguto said the eight clauses were a violation of fundamental human rights and did not add value to the fight against terrorism since there were sufficient laws which, if managed well, could secure the country from terror attacks.

The judges struck a balance between protecting the rights of citizens and the need to have laws to counter threats posed terrorism by declaring the eight clauses unconstitutional, null and void while upholding several other contested clauses.

By Maureen Murimi

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