Kenya’s President Demands End to Extrajudicial Killings by Police

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“Expand the inquiry into other formations,” said Demas Kiprono

Kenyan President
William Ruto said during a meeting Monday with the Independent Police Oversight
Authority (IPOA) that extrajudicial killings by police in the country must end.

Five police officers
who were members of a now-disbanded special services unit went on trial Monday
for the murders of Zulfiqar Ahmad Khan and Mohamed Zaid Sami Kidwai — two
Indian nationals who advised Ruto’s election campaign — and their taxi driver,
Nicodemus Mwania.

Four other officers had
been tried last week in connection with the deaths.

Ruto wants the IPOA to
develop a plan to help end extrajudicial killings in Kenya.

killings must come to an end,” Ruto said. “It is illegal, it is
unconstitutional, it offends every principle of the right to life.”

An August 2022 report
by Human Rights Watch found that the failure of Kenyan authorities to address
accountability for past abuses by police heightened the risk for more abuse.
George Musamali, a security analyst in Kenya, says arresting the officers and
trying them is a sign of progress.

“You’ll find that
in Kenya, we’ve been having a lot of misuse of this because sometimes you’ll
find that people who are innocent, there is no evidence that these people are a
danger to national security,” Musamali said. “You’ll find them being
eliminated, and this is what we are trying to deal with right now, And I
believe the Ruto government will [get] to the bottom of this.”

Rights groups such as
Amnesty International say police abuse could completely end if the inquiries
were extended to all other police units.

“Expand the
inquiry into other formations,” said Demas Kiprono, campaign manager at
Amnesty International. “There are formations that have happened by ATPU
[the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit]. There are violations by other police units
and formations. There are violations by certain police stations that are

Investigations into the
killing last week of Pakistani investigative journalist Arshadi Sharif by
Kenyan police are underway. According to the police, Sharif’s murder was a case
of mistaken identity.

Kenya’s director of
public prosecution, Noordin Haji, said last week that 12 police officers, most
of them senior officials, will face charges for crimes against humanity
concerning a crackdown on post-election protests in 2017.

According to the Kenya
National Commission on Human Rights, 94 people were killed at the time, and
more than 300 were injured.

In a statement, U.N.
High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk commended Haji’s decision, which
the United Nations says is an advance toward accountability for gross human
rights violations in Kenya.


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