Missing Voices 2023 Annual Report: End Police Impunity

The 2023 Annual Missing Voices Report sheds light on the persisting issue of police impunity in Kenya, revealing both concerning trends and slight improvements in certain areas.

Key Findings

  • Reduction in Extrajudicial Killings and Enforced Disappearances: The report notes a decrease in extrajudicial killings by 9.2% (from 130 in 2022 to 118 in 2023) and a significant 54.5% reduction in enforced disappearances (from 22 in 2022 to 10 in 2023).
  • Demographics of Victims: Men continue to be the primary victims, accounting for 94% of extrajudicial killings, with a notable concentration among men aged 19-35.
  • Advocacy Impact: The decrease in these violations is attributed partly to advocacy efforts by the Missing Voices coalition partners, although challenges persist.
  • Police Operations and Victims: Most killings occurred during police anti-crime operations, with 58 civilians killed in such operations. Anti-riot police killings increased due to protests against the Finance Bill 2023, resulting in 45 deaths.
  • Methods of Killings: Shooting by police remains the predominant method, accounting for 113 cases in 2023. Incidents of deaths in police custody, battery, and torture were also reported.
  • Arrests and Impunity: Alarmingly, very few police officers face arrest for extrajudicial killings or enforced disappearances. Only 5 officers were arrested in 2023, primarily in cases related to Gender-Based Violence, where they are accussed of killing their loved ones, while 96% of implicated officers remain unarrested and continue their duties.
  • Regional Trends: Nairobi County recorded the highest number of police killings at 46, followed by other regions like Kisumu, Kisii, Migori, Machakos, and Nakuru. Enforced disappearances were predominantly linked to anti-terror operations.
  • Lack of Accountability: Despite the documented cases, no police officer was arrested for enforced disappearances during the review period, highlighting systemic challenges in accountability.

The report underscores the urgent need for accountability mechanisms and reforms within law enforcement to address police impunity and ensure the protection of human rights for all citizens.

Click on the button below to download the full report below.