Co-sponsor: Center for African Studies
Join the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) in partnership with the Center for Africa Studies for a rare opportunity to hear from one of Kenya’s leading human rights activists and the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association (2011-2017) - Maina Kiai - in conversation with Larry Diamond on Kenya’s 2017 disputed presidential election. This discussion will also reflect on the growing democratic recession in Africa and how Kenya’s recent election has undermined the country's electoral democracy. Maina Kiai is a visiting practitioner at the Levin Center at Stanford Law School this quarter and was a 2007 Draper Hills Summer Fellow at CDDRL.
Mr. Maina Kiai was the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association from May 2011 until April 2017. A lawyer trained at Nairobi and Harvard Universities, Mr. Kiai has spent the last twenty years campaigning for human rights and constitutional reform in Kenya – notably as founder and Executive Director of the unofficial Kenya Human Rights Commission, and then as Chairman of Kenya’s National Human Rights Commission (2003-2008), where he won a national reputation for his courageous and effective advocacy against official corruption, in support of political reform, and against impunity following the violence that convulsed Kenya in 2008, causing thousands of deaths. From July 2010 to April 2011, Mr. Kiai was the Executive Director of the International Council on Human Rights Policy, a Geneva-based think-tank which used to produce research reports and briefing papers with policy recommendations. Mr. Kiai was also the Director of Amnesty International’s Africa Programme (1999-2001), and the Africa Director of the International Human Rights Law Group (now Global Rights, 2001-2003). He held research fellowships at the Danish Institute for Human Rights (Copenhagen), the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (Washington), and the TransAfrica Forum (Washington). Mr. Kiai has regularly been an advocate informing and educating Kenyans through various media about their human rights.
Larry Diamond is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. For more than six years, he directed FSI’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, and he continues to lead its programs on Arab Reform and Democracy and Democracy in Taiwan. He is the founding co-editor of the Journal of Democracy and also serves as Senior Consultant at the International Forum for Democratic Studies of the National Endowment for Democracy. His sixth and most recent book, In Search of Democracy (Routledge, 2016), explores the challenges confronting democracy and democracy promotion, gathering together three decades of his work on democratic development, particularly in Africa and Asia. He has also edited or co-edited more than 40 books on democratic development around the world.