Kenyans have been eagerly awaiting the visit by the International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo. This visit could become an important step towards ending impunity in Kenya of the perpetrators of the post-election violence.
I explained earlier why I would love to go to The Hague. But that is of course because I would not be detained there. But I also don't understand why the key suspects of the post-election violence are fearing the ICC.
Today, I had a look at some images of the ICC Detention Centre, and I must say the place doesn't look too bad in comparison with our local centres here in Kenya. On the left of this post, you can see a standard room, the gym where detainees are offered training with a physical education instructor, and the library and spiritual room at the ICC Detention Centre (images courtesy of ICC).
The ICC endeavors to ensure the mental, physical and spiritual welfare of the detained persons within an efficient system of detention, with consideration to their cultural diversity and their development as individuals.
In achieving this aim, the daily programme of the Detention Centre allows the detained persons access to fresh air, recreational time and sports activities. They have access to library books, news and television. Detained persons have access to computer facilities to work on their own cases. If needed (dear ICC, rest assured that this is indeed needed for the Kenyans who will be detained there), detained persons are given the opportunity of computer training. Following the mandate of the ICC, as an e-Court, each detained person has a computer in his/ her cell, which is linked to one specific computer at the Court; only his defence has access to that computer. The Defence can upload caserelated material which the detained person can access and make comments on.
Acknowledging the right of a detained person to privacy with his/ her Defence; and recognising the importance for him/ her to communicate freely with the consular or diplomatic representative of his/ her country of origin; a detained person is entitled to privileged communication with persons falling under those two categories. This denotes that such communication shall not monitored be by the Detention Centre staff. In addition, the detained persons are entitled to visits by a minister or spiritual advisor of their religion or belief, for which an area within the Detention Centre is allocated.
With a view of maintaining family links, specific attention is given to visits by the family and visits by the wife (note to Kenyans: not 'wifes') or partner of the detained persons; and may take measures to assist the family in the necessary procedures thereof, if required.
Detained persons are provided with suitably prepared food that satisfies in quality and quantity the standards of dietetics and modern hygiene. Additionally, detained persons are allowed to cook for themselves (dear ICC, please note that Kenyan high level officials don't know how to cook!); they can purchase additional items, listed on the shopping list of the Detention Centre (is there ugali on that list?), as available, in order for them to adjust the meals provided to them, according to their taste and cultural requirements. However, Charles Taylor's lawyers have complained that the food which is served is completely eurocentric and not palatable to the African palate.
The Red Cross has unrestricted access to the Detention Centre. Its delegates pay unannounced visits to the Detention Centre, with the purpose of examining the treatment of the detained persons, their living conditions and their physical and psychological conditions, in conformity with widely accepted international standards governing the treatment of persons deprived of liberty.