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(Nairobi) – US President Barack Obama should use his upcoming trip to Kenya to raise critical human rights issues with high-level officials, a group of Kenyan and international human rights organizations said in a letter sent today.

The seventeen organizations are concerned that the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta is undermining Kenya’s very progressive constitution and its commitments to international human rights law under the pretext of promoting national security and combatting terrorism.

President Barack Obama of the United States and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta during a US-Africa Leaders Summit dinner at the White House on August 5, 2014. Courtesy of the US Department of State.

“As one of Kenya’s closest allies and a key partner in the fight against terrorism, the US has a unique role in urging President Kenyatta and his government to change its current trajectory and work to implement the 2010 Constitution,” the letter says. “We urge you to raise these critical issues during your upcoming historic visit to Kenya.”

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