NGO questions Ministry of Health’s decision to use Quarantine as punishment for Kenyans

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A Kenyan Non-governmental organization has written an open letter to the Ministry of health seeking information on why quarantine is being used as a form of punishment for Kenyans.

In a strong appeal, Mr. Allan Maleche, Executive Director-KELIN Kenya, representing 27 partner organizations and 27 individuals said that the organization strongly believes that Kenyans should not be denied justice even as the world fights to eradicate the novel COVID-19.

“While we acknowledge that the emergence of COVID-19 brings with it unprecedented challenges nationally and globally, we shall not grow weary in advocating for access to justice during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic. Noting His Excellency, the president’s remarks on 25th April 2020 we trust that you shall be guided by sound medical expertise and science in making an informed decision to stop using quarantine as a punitive measure. It is causing harm to the Kenyans you are obliged to protect.” He said

This open letter expresses concern around the criminalization of the COVID-19 response and the inappropriate use of quarantine as punishment.

The letter highlights issues such as the WHO guidelines which have been violated, the Siracusa Principles on the Limitation and Derogation Provisions in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, that Kenya has signed and ratified, that require certain criteria are met when rights are restricted, including the right to freedom of movement, which have not been adequately addressed and the application and increased use of criminal law and punitive measures in the COVID-19 response in Kenya.

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