• The rights to freedom of expression and association, and the right to peaceful assembly, are core tenets of democracy.
• They encourage opposition leaders and protestors to refrain from violence and rhetoric that could incite violence
The US state department says rights to freedom of expression and association are core tenets of democracy.
While responding to Monday’s protests by Azimio La Umoja in Kenya over among others the cost of living and lack of inclusivity in government, the Principal Deputy Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State Vedant Patel said the United States regrets the loss of life in the recent protests in Kenya.
“The rights to freedom of expression and association, and the right of peaceful assembly, are core tenets of democracy.”
“Countries that protect these fundamental freedoms and support an open, inclusive and empowered civil society are more stable and prosperous. Kenya benefits from having an active and vibrant civil society,” he told reporters.
He added they encourage opposition leaders and protestors to refrain from violence and rhetoric that could incite violence, and urged the government security forces to act with restraint.
This was in reaction to questions raised by reporters during a press briefing.
A reporter asked for his comment in relation to the government’s move to illegally ban protests by the opposition.
During the protests, one person was shot dead in Kisumu, and two were injured in Migori.
Property of an unknown value was destroyed in the chaos that erupted as police tried to stop a march by the opposition in parts of the country.
Police say up to 20 cops were injured and three cars destroyed and that they arrested over 20 suspects over the same.
A mosque and church were burnt in attacks in Kibera slums and traffic was disrupted on many roads.
Businesses were closed for the better part of the day as chaos reigned.
Goons who seemed to have been organized invaded the private farm of former President Uhuru Kenyatta and stole sheep and goats and set a section of grass there on fire.
Another group raided a business entity owned by Azimio leader Raila Odinga in Industrial Area and destroyed property.
No arrest has been made so far and a police watchdog is investigating the failure of police to protect the same.
Police had declared the protests illegal and banned them.
On Tuesday, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki who had been missing from earlier meetings held between police commanders and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said there is a need to stop the chaos being witnessed.
“We must protect our Country from sliding into irretrievable anarchy,” he said in social media posts.