HC Deb 24 February 1999 vol 326 c322W
Mr. Maclean

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Kenyan Government following the beating of Professor Wangare Maathai by security guards at Karura Forest. [72734]

Mr. Tony Lloyd

As part of the Democratic Development Group of diplomatic missions in Nairobi, we supported a collective statement expressing our deep concern over the violence at the Karura Forest. The statement underlined that the right to demonstrate peacefully arises directly from basic human rights, including freedom of expression and assembly. However, it also condemned the destruction of private property and the accompanying violence by demonstrators, as with the excessive reaction of the police. It also called for greater transparency and respect for the law in the allocation of public lands in Kenya, including the Karura Forest, something which our High Commissioner regularly raises with President Moi and senior Government Ministers.

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