Deal with extrajudicial killings urgently – UN to Kenya

Deal with extrajudicial killings urgently - UN to Kenya

The United Nations has called on the Kenyan government to treat alleged cases of extrajudicial killing by police with urgency and address the concerns that have threatened the confidence Kenyans have in the police force.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville, while condemning the killing of human rights lawyer Willie Kimani, his client Josphat Mwenda, and their taxi driver Joseph Muiruri, last week, said cases of extrajudicial killings should not be treated casually.

“It is imperative to throw full light on what happened and to establish all responsibilities related to these atrocious murders. We also call upon the Kenyan authorities to strengthen efforts towards accountability and take urgent measures to prevent extrajudicial executions and police brutality and other serious violations,” said Colville.

“These are steps the Kenya authorities have committed to, including in last year Universal Periodic Review, and they are essential if trust is to be restored before the elections take place next year. We also call on the authorities to ensure a safe and enabling environment in which civil society can operate freely and without fear.”

Lawyer Kimani and Mwenda disappeared after attending a court session at the Mavoko Law Courts in Machakos County in a suit where the latter had sued an Administration Police officer for shooting him without any provocation in April 2015.

Kimani, who was working with an NGO, International Justice Mission, was assisting Mwenda with his case.

The UN further commended Attorney General Githu Muigai’s pronouncement that such killings will be brought to an end.

“The Kenyan Attorney General has stated that no effort will be spared to identify those responsible for the killings, and the Inspector General of Police has announced that a thorough investigation will be conducted. Four police officers have been arrested so far. One welcome development in the wake of this terrible crime is the pledge made by the Attorney General that the Prevention of Torture Bill will be presented in Parliament within the next 28 days,” read the UN statement.

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