•The commission in a statement welcomed the move by the President William Ruto to commute all death sentences as of November 21, 2022 to life imprisonment
•Odede however said it is time for Kenya to move Kenya to the next level and initiate a process of eradicating the death penalty.
The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) has called on the government to abolish death penalty in the country.
The commission in a statement, welcomed the move by President William Ruto to commute all death sentences as of November 21, 2022 to life imprisonment.
“This is a move in the right direction as it aligns Kenya with the global trends on the application of the death penalty,” KNCHR chairperson Roseline Odede said.
Odede however said it is time for the country to move to the next level and initiate a process of eradicating the death penalty and the indefinite life sentence from the country's statute books.
She urged the Executive through the Attorney General’s Office and the Legislature to initiate the process.
“The commission will continue working with all State and non-State actors to move the country towards the abolition of the death penalty,” Odede said.
She said the move by the President is in line with the various regional and international treaties and conventions that Kenya has ratified.
These include the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the UN Convention Against Torture (CAT) as well as the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR).
“As a Commission, we continue to hold the position that the Death Penalty is the ultimate violation of human rights, disproportionately affects the poor, and as such has no place in our society,” Odede noted.
According to KNCHR, Kenya continues being a de facto moratorium State, with the last execution having taken place in 1987.
Ruto on Tuesday commuted all death sentences imposed before November 21, 2022, to life imprisonment on the recommendation of the committee.