Mercy Wambua, chief executive of the LSK which counts some 14,000 advocates as its members, said the organisation wants to put a stop to a police trend of arresting suspects on minor infractions on a Friday afternoon, preventing them from taking a plea within 24-hours as required by the constitution.
"They are held in police cells up to Monday when the courts are open and they are most times denied police bail/bond. In some cases the police use the arrest on Fridays as a way of defrauding Kenyans where those arrested on Fridays are, most of the time, denied bail unless they are able to give bribes."
The petition demands that police be "prohibited from capriciously arresting citizens suspected of committing non-cognizable offences on Friday afternoons and/or periods that would deny them the opportunity to take plea within 24 hours."
"Where there is likelihood of abuse of human rights by the State ... it is necessary for weekend/public hearings to be held so as to ensure the protection of human rights issues."
Kenya fell in 143rd position of 180 countries on Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index in 2017.
Its police force is regularly voted most corrupt government department in surveys carried out by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, and is notorious for extorting bribes from citizens.
Wambua said the threat of being locked up on a minor offence all weekend "definitely does aid and encourage corruption like in Kenya where arrested persons are forced to bribe their way out of police cells."
The petition was certified as urgent on January 14 and all parties will be heard on January 28.
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