Amnesty International gives reforms cautious welcome
Amnesty International news release, AI INDEX: AFR 32/50/97, 12 September 1997
NAIROBI - Amnesty International cautiously welcomes the legal reforms agreed upon by the combined forces of ruling party and opposition parliamentarians in Kenya, but says it is still too early to celebrate as enacting laws is a long way from implementation.
"What has been achieved is only a first step. Even though quite a few of the legal reforms we have been asking for seem to have been addressed in yesterday's agreement, far too many issues remain outstanding. We are also very sorry that our appeal for an independent and impartial investigation into the violence, which is still continuing at the coast, is completely missing," Hilary Fisher, researcher on the organization's East Africa team said in Nairobi.
"For the process leading up the elections to succeed without further human rights violations we urgently need international and local human rights monitors in place. It is the donor community's responsibility to follow up very closely on yesterday's events to ensure that practice mirrors policy."
The international human rights organization launched a major campaign against human rights violations in Kenya in Nairobi on Wednesday. At the launch Amnesty International presented a report which gives detailed examples of how the Kenyan government has failed to live up to its promises to protect the human rights of the Kenyan people.
Amnesty International members have begun a campaign to support the local human rights community and to urge the Kenyan government to stop violating human rights. In the campaign its members in Africa and elsewhere will be calling on their own governments not to abandon the process for real reform now.
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