Committee Reports

Letter in Support the Purple Ribbon Campaign by the Law Society of Kenya


With assistance from the Vance Center for International Justice (Alexander Papachristou, Executive Director) and input from the African Affairs Committee (Elizabeth Barad and Jason Spears, Co-Chairs), the International Human Rights Committee (Anil Kalhan, Chair) and the Task Force for the Independence of Lawyers and Judges (William A. Wilson III, Chair), the City Bar wrote a letter to the President of Kenya in support of the Law Society of Kenya’s Purple Ribbon Campaign in commemoration of the first anniversary of the abduction, illegal detention, torture and killing of human rights attorney Willie Kimani, his client Joseph Mwenda, and their taxi driver Joseph Muiruri.  The U.N. Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers and the African Union’s Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Fair Trial and Legal Assistance in Africa recognize that lawyers have the right to practice their profession free from intimidation, harassment, police interference, and brutality. Furthermore, failing to provide a remedy for the acts of torture committed violates the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Convention against Torture. The letter urges the government of Kenya to publicly condemn extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances and to undertake systematic institutional reforms to Kenya’s police services to ensure that lawyers can practice their profession free from brutality and intimidation