Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has petitioned the United Nations, seeking investigation of alleged attacks on Kenyan judges.
Falana, in his petition dated September 26 and addressed to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Mr. Diego Garcia Sayan, urged the UN to make a strong statement to the Kenyan authorities that it would not accept the intimidation and harassment of judges.
The SAN said his concern stemmed from reports of attacks on judges in Kenya, including those on the Supreme Court bench, who were being threatened and negatively profiled on the social media.
He said it was regrettable that in spite of these attacks on judges and judicial officers, with some senior political leaders in Kenya threatening to ‘cut the judiciary to size’ the Inspector-General of Police in Kenya had not taken any step.
He, therefore, urged Sayan to use his good offices to prevail upon the Kenyan authorities to ensure that judges and judicial sector workers were protected and shielded against all forms of harassment and intimidation.
He said, “I am seriously concerned that these attacks are coming at a time when the judiciary is starting to hear the 339 petitions already filed in various courts. The attacks on judges and court officials would seem to be politically motivated.
“I am concerned that apart from violating the rights of the judges to personal dignity and security, the attacks also constitute a threat to the independence and impartiality of the judiciary and the entire justice system. The attacks amount to improper interferences and pressures on the judiciary, and can undermine the smooth function of justice, public’s confidence in the rule of law, effective enjoyment of human rights, and ultimately lead to the people taking the law into their own hands.”