A report released by the Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU) on Thursday, has revealed that no less than 128 cases of extrajudicial killings have been recorded in Kenya in the past 11 months, from October 2022 to August 2023.
Further, the human rights group committee pointed at a significant increase in cases of torture and related violations (TRVs), from 232 in the previous year to 482.
Additionally, the majority of the victims were young male adults between the ages of 18 to 35 years, with 317 cases recorded.
“This indicates a failure to curb police abuse of power including excessive, unnecessary, illegal and disproportionate use of force and firearms. This alarming rise not only shows a lack of progress but also suggests that the situation has worsened, ” IMLU stated.
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“The police are not there to punish they are there to protect. Therefore, the maiming of children and people was not to protect. The way the police acted by pulling people out of their house was not protection, however it was state terror a key to what we witnessed in the 90s, ” said Peter Kiama, the Director of IMLU.
“The President’s efforts to address police abuse and protect urban youths have fallen short as evidenced by the increase in these cases,” added Kiama.
Therefore, the group calls on the president to fulfil the following:
- Recognise and support investigative and oversight institutions including the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) and IPOA;
- Establish the Coroner General’s Office which plays a pivotal role in independently investigating reportable deaths to ensure a fair and thorough investigation;
- Establish a special tribunal to investigate and adjudicate cases of gross human rights violations including extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, torture and inhuman treatment;
- Ratify and domesticate the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances;
- Operationalise the PBO Act and the County Policing Authorities to facilitate effective participation of citizens and the non-profit sector in development, and security governance;
- Enhance opportunities for reparations for victims of violations by establishing the Victim Protections Fund;
- Put in place constitutional and statutory provisions to ensure the financial independence of the National Police Service;
- Expedite the delivery of the report of the ‘Maraga’ Taskforce on Police and Prisons Reform for renewed momentum in police and penal reforms.
Despite the rising cases, IMLU also recognizes the government for appointing a senior pathologist, completing the Human Resources instruments in readiness for the appointment of the Coroner General, disbanding the Special Service Unit and establishing a task force on police and prison reforms, under the capable leadership of retired Chief Justice David Maraga.
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The human rights group has also requested the government to take immediate decisive action to end torture, as they foresee a resurgence of the dark days when torture was employed as a tool for repression denying Kenayns their democratic rights.