UN rights expert urges Kenya to protect four environmental defenders whose lives are under threat

John H. Knox, the Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, urged the Government of Kenya to take all necessary measures immediately to protect Ms. Phyllis Omido and three other environmental human rights defenders who have been assaulted, subjected to death threats, and forced into hiding since they filed a law suit against a lead smelter earlier this month.   In 2015, Ms. Omido, the recipient of the prestigious Goldman Prize, also called the “environmental Nobel prize,” founded the Center for Justice Governance and Environmental Action to promote and protect human rights and environmental justice. Her three colleagues who are also in danger are Wilfred Kamencu, Anastacia Nambo, and Alfred Ogola.  The full statement is available here.

The Special Rapporteur also sent a joint communication on this matter, together with the Working Group on enforced or involuntary disappearances, the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association; the Special Rapporteur on toxics, and the Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders, to the Government of Kenya.