Menu

"Taking Injustice Personally"

PRESS RELEASE: PRWG-K URGES PRESIDENT UHURU KENYATTA TO ESTABLISH JUDICIAL COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO EXTRAJUDICAL EXECUTIONS

We, the undersigned national and international organizations, under the auspice of the Police Reforms Working Group- Kenya (PRWG-K) condemn the summary execution of a young man in Nairobi’s Eastleigh on 31 April 2017 by an officer believed to be attached to the Pangani Police Station, as shown in the video widely circulated on social and mainstream media.

In the video, the plain-clothed police officer is seen shooting at a prostrate young man identified by the police as a member of one of Eastleigh’s urban gangs. Next to him is the lifeless body of another young man in a pool of blood who apparently was shot earlier.

Nairobi Police Commander Japheth Koome defended the killings saying, in a statement, that: “The same gangsters shot dead an officer yesterday. Tell all gangsters out there that when they kill an officer, I am ruthless and they will get it from me.” This shows that the police’s leadership either condones or sanctions extrajudicial execution of suspected criminals.

Police Reforms Working Group- Kenya (PRWG-K) wishes to express its grave concern over the rising incidents of deaths through police’s illegal use of lethal force.  Over the last 15 months, human rights groups and media organizations have reported multiple incidents of torture and extrajudicial executions implicating police officers.

The latest case is not an isolated one, but an indication of a broader and widespread pattern of extrajudicial executions by the police as documented by human rights groups and the media. The cases of Kwekwe Mwandaza from Kinango, Kwale County, Dennis Ongwae Magomere and Felix Ngaywa Nyagena, who were both from Egerton University ,Willie Kimani, a lawyer with International Justice Mission (IJM), his client Josphat Mwenda, a motorcycle  rider, and Joseph Muiruri, a taxi driver are a few of the many cases that got covered in the media.

The usual response of the police’s leadership is that the executions are carried out by a few rogue officers, and that the police service has no official shoot-to-kill policy. However, the police leadership hardly undertakes credible, impartial and effective investigations into the reported cases.

The actions of the police officer on 31 March 2017 clearly contravene Article 26 of the Constitution, which asserts that every person has the right to life. A person shall not be deprived of life intentionally, except to the extent authorized by the Constitution or other written law. Further, the National Police Service Act 2011  Schedule 6 (B) provides that ‘Firearms may only be used when less extreme measures are inadequate, and for the following purposes: a) saving or protecting the life of the officer or other persons; and b) self-defense or in defense of other person against imminent threat of life or serious injury. In the video, it was evident that the suspect was subdued.

To address the pattern of extrajudicial executions in Kenya, we call on:

President Uhuru Kenyatta, to:

  • Promptly establish an independent judicial commission of inquiry to conduct thorough investigations into allegations of enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, torture and other ill-treatment of suspected criminals and detainees by the Kenya Police and other military, security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
  • The commission should also examine the extent and causes of continued and persistent lack of individual and command accountability for the same, with a view to ensuring changes in conduct, which is in line with international, regional and Constitutional human rights standards
  • Further, unless the interest of justice dictates otherwise and only to the extent deemed necessary for the purpose of criminal prosecution, the Commission’s findings should be made public. Otherwise they should be handed over to a judicial authority to pursue prosecutions.
  • Speedily assent the National Coroners Bill 2017 to provide for independent forensic investigations of questionable deaths.

Parliament, to:

  • Ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, which Kenya signed on the 6th of February 2007.

Independent Policing Oversight Authority and Internal Affairs Unit

  • Expedite investigations into the summary execution of the young man and forward the report to the director of public prosecutions office for further action against all officers found culpable. 
  • Inform the nation on various breaches against the National Police Service Act on the use of lethal force and recommend to NPSC superior commanders for disciplinary action for non-compliance with the National Police Service Act

The National Police Service Commission

  • The National Police Service Commission should institute disciplinary actions against other police officers who were at the scene or were involved in killing the two young men, including against the Nairobi County Commandant Japheth Koome.
  • Immediately vet and remove police officers involved in extrajudicial killings including those from units within the Directorate of Criminal Investigations also linked to extrajudicial killings.  

Signed:  

Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC)

International Commission of Jurists –Kenya (ICJ-K)

Legal Resources Foundation (LRF)

International Jurists Mission (IJM)

Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU)

Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR)

Rights Promotion and Protection Centre (RPP)

Federation of Women Lawyers in Kenya (FIDA-K)

Coalition on Violence against Women (COVAW)

National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (NCHRD)

Kenyans For Peace, Truth and Justice (KPTJ)

Usalama Reforms Forum

Amnesty International – Kenya

Transparency International-Kenya

Katiba Institute (KI)

Society for International Development

International Centre for Transitional Justice (ICTJ-K)

Chemi Chemi Wa Ukweli

Kariobangi Paralegal Network

Shield for Justice

 

The return to Somalia: home sweet home?

The return to Somalia: home sweet home?

Patrick recently travelled to Somalia where he interviewed a number of people who had been returned from Kenya after living in Dadaab refugee camp. Names in this blog have been changed to protect the sources. Ubaax (pronounced as Ubah), originally from Dinsoor district, looked at me, then bent her head as tears rolled down her thin, shiny cheeks. I looked out...

Read more

NEW LAWS A PLUS TO ENDING TORTURE AND EXTRAJUDICIAL EXECUTIONS IN KENYA

NEW LAWS A PLUS TO ENDING TORTURE AND EXTRAJUDICIAL EXECUTIONS IN KENYA

Speaking at a symposium held by the Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU) on Wednesday June 28th 2017, Hon. Ken Okoth applauded the signing into law of The Prevention of Torture Bill terming it as a milestone for civil society working on the prevention of torture and police reforms in Kenya .  Mr. Okoth who is a member of the Kenya Parliamentary...

Read more

AMNESTY KENYA WELCOMES AFRICAN COURT RULING ON OGIEK COMMUNITY CASE

AMNESTY KENYA WELCOMES AFRICAN COURT RULING ON OGIEK COMMUNITY CASE

The Ogiek indigenous community is a hunter gatherer group who depend on the forest for food, medicine, shelter and preservation of their culture. Approximately 15,000 Ogiek live in the Mau Forest Complex, which they have occupied for at least 150 years. The indigenous community has been facing oppression and arbitrary evictions from their ancestral home in what is deemed as...

Read more

Stand up for the BRAVE

Stand up for the BRAVE

Together we can speak up for those who speak out for all of us. Today, people across the world are taking enormous risks to stand up for our rights. They could be teachers, students, political opponents, factory workers, journalists, lawyers or so many others. They could be you, your friend or your relatives. But they’re being harassed, tortured, jailed and even killed...

Read more

2017 Human Rights Champions in Kenya's Police Force Awarded

2017 Human Rights Champions in Kenya's Police Force Awarded

The police force is one institution that Kenyans loves to hate. From the variety of unsavory nicknames given to it's officers, to the open hostility and loathing show to them, relations between the public and police officers have never been worse. But then on Friday 5 May 2017, the Outstanding Police Service Awards (OPSA) held at Hotel Intercontinental Nairobi, highlighted...

Read more

POETIC HOUR - 28TH APRIL 2017, KISUMU

POETIC HOUR - 28TH APRIL 2017, KISUMU

On the 28th of April 2017, Amnesty International Kenya, Talent Industry Limited, One Vibe Africa and KMET Kenya held “Poetic Hour” in Kisumu at Planet Media - Mega City. “Poetic Hour” is a monthly forum that uses art to create awareness and understanding on various issues. The theme of the day was “Stop Extrajudicial Killings” in response to the rise...

Read more

BOMA NIGHT AND THE BEHIND THE BRUSH STROKES ART EXHIBITION

BOMA NIGHT AND THE BEHIND THE BRUSH STROKES ART EXHIBITION

The Boma Night outreach festival was held on Saturday, 24th March 2017 at the American Corner Grounds in the Kisumu National Library. The event was in partnership with The Story Makers Society - a professional theatre group committed to creating and producing artistically excellent and culturally diverse theatre for all audiences. The festival was attended by over 200 people who included...

Read more

An open letter to the Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Health regarding the ongoing health crisis

An open letter to the Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Health regarding the ongoing health crisis

Dear Cabinet Secretary - Mr. Cleophas Mailu, My name is Wanjiku. I am 65 years old. I am a Kenyan voter at the Kosovo polling center. I am a law abiding resident of Mathare slum. I am a mother of 5 children. Two of them live with conditions that have made them my permanent dependents. Like any other mother, I was...

Read more

Press Release: End media crackdown and allow British journalist to return

Press Release: End media crackdown and allow British journalist to return

The Kenyan government must halt its crackdown on media freedom and allow Jerome Starkey to return to the country, said nine human rights organizations today, two months after the British journalist was detained and deported. The organizations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and PEN International, have sent a letter to Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Internal Affairs and Coordination of National...

Read more

Press Release: Government officials coercing refugees back to war-torn Somalia

Press Release: Government officials coercing refugees back to war-torn Somalia

Just two weeks before the deadline given to close the Dadaab refugee camp, Kenyan government officials are deliberately coercing refugees to return to Somalia, where they risk being injured or killed in the ongoing armed conflict, Amnesty International said in a report released today. The government announced in May that it would close the world’s largest refugee camp, which is home...

Read more
The most visited gambling websites in The UK

Connect With Us: