Nairobi, 25 October 2022 – Amnesty International Kenya condemns the police killing of renowned Pakistani investigative journalist Arshad Sharif. His death not only robs Mr Sharif’s family of their husband and father but also strikes at the freedom of the press and the public’s right to know the truth. Firstly, we convey our deepest condolences to his brother Hurram Ahmed and his family back in Pakistan.

The circumstances around this killing remain unclear to the public and must be independently investigated. The National Police Service has stated that Pangani Station officers were chasing a stolen car with a kidnapped child over 60 kilometres away in Nairobi. They further state the two brothers failed to stop at an unmarked police roadblock heading not from but into Nairobi. Other reports suggest 8-9 bullets were fired at their vehicle. There was no crossfire. Mr Sharif was killed with a single shot to the head.

“That this crime was reported by Pangani station needs further examination. The station was responsible for over half of the extrajudicial killings in 2021. It is also time for the Judicial review of the last decade of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances associated with this police station.” Says Amnesty International Kenya Executive Director Irungu Houghton.

The case rightly now lies with the Independent Policing Oversight Authority. The Authority has the mandate to investigate police violence and unlawful killings.

“It is unclear why such lethal force was used, especially as a child was supposed to be in the car. Sadly, Arshad Sharif joins more than 108 killings of men by the police suspected to be criminals each year. While it is too early to say precisely what happened, one thing is clear, in this case, the investigations must be thorough, and arrests swiftly preferred.” Says Amnesty International Kenya Executive Director Irungu Houghton.

Last week, President Ruto confirmed the presence of a police killer squad long denied by the Jubilee Administration. He demanded its disbandment and the arrest of officers suspected of having killed two Indian nationals, Zulfiqar Ahmad Khan and Mohamed Zaid Sami Kidwai. They were working for his campaign team during the elections. The Kenya Kwanza administration has promised a complete overhaul of the National Police Service and its operating procedures.

Irũngũ Houghton

Amnesty International Kenya Executive Director


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