Kenya police killed, forced disappearance of 81 people
Human right groups in Kenya are urging that country’s government to investigate and hold responsible police officers involved in excessive force and brutality that led to several deaths and forced disappearance.
In a report released yesterday evening (Wednesday 7) titled “What do we tell the families?” it detailed that at least 81 extremism suspects have been killed illegally or forced to disappear by Kenyan police in the country’s coastal region after a series of attacks, a human rights organization.
While presenting the report to Kenya National Commission on Human Rights KNCHR, the organization accuse the police of profiling and targeting mostly Muslims in their war on terror warning that “terror cannot be answered by terror”.
The human rights group Haki Africa said it had documented 22 deaths as a result of excessive force in police operations, four deaths in police custody, 31 extrajudicial killings and 24 enforced disappearances.
Haki Africa coordinator Francis Auma gave the list to KNCHR commissioner Jedidah Waruhiu, vice chairperson Gorge Morara and IPOA board member Tom Kagwe at the Wednesday press briefing in Nairobi.
Among the killings documented by the report is that of cleric Aboud Rogo Mohammed, who had been sanctioned by the U.N. and U.S. for supporting the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab. He was shot dead in 2012 as he drove his wife to a hospital in the coastal city of Mombasa.
The NGO also cited cases involving the late Samir Khan, Ali Masadaka, Silvester Opiyo, Jacob Musyoka, Jeremiah Okumu and Shabaan Namusende and many others. Auma said the victims’ family members have blamed security officers for the cases, but have not pointed out a specific agency.
Hussien Khalid, the group’s executive director, said the report covers a period starting in 2012, when the government says the Somalia-based al-Shabab extremist group began retaliatory attacks against Kenya for sending troops to Somalia in late 2011 to fight it.
Evidence points to police officers from the counterterrorism unit or other specialized units, he said. The report calls for clarification from the government on who has been killed or disappeared by its agents since April 2012, any action taken against the agents and where the bodies are.
“The (Kenyan) government must furthermore clarify whether there is or has ever been in existence a shoot to kill or political assassination counter terrorism policy,” it says. Police said they would study the report before commenting.