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Human rights not negotiable, says Haki Africa

[Haki Africa Executive director Hussein Khalid. Photo/ Davis Mbunga]

Kenyans should stand up and fight for their rights since the human rights space in the country is shrinking.

Haki Africa Executive director Hussein Khalid says Kenyans and especially the Coastal people have distanced themselves from fighting for their own rights and freedom of expression as enshrined in the constitution.

Speaking in Mombasa, Khalid said human rights activism should be a responsibility of all people and not left for only few rights defenders.

According to Mr. Khalid, the recent occurrences where human rights defenders have become the governments’ soft target should be a concern for all Kenyans.

He said human rights organisations are only performing their role of putting the government into check, warning that if Kenyans take a back seat, gross violation of human rights will resurface.

He said human rights defenders have received strong criticism and condemnation from the government despite pushing for proper leadership and government that aims at benefiting all Kenyans.

He said that it is through such efforts that the government will rectify its mistakes and create democratic space for all Kenyans.

“We are not doing all these to undermine the government but to oblige it to respect what is in the constitution,” he said.

Mr. Khalid said that extra judicial killings, land conflicts especially at the Coast, gross human rights violation committed by security agents among many other forms of inhuman acts should be tamed.

“We are not enemies of the national or county governments, we criticize the government to make it work,” he noted.

He urged the Coastal people to unite with human rights activists and other parties in standing up for their rights and push government entities to respect the rule of law.