The Kenyan Section of the International Commission of Jurists: is a registered non-governmental organization that seeks to protect human rights, and promote the rule of law and democracy in Kenya and across Africa through the application of legal expertise and international best practices.
Independent Medical Legal Unit is a registered non-governmental organization that seeks to promote the rights of torture victims and protect all persons in Kenya from all forms of torture by advocating for legal and policy reforms, monitoring government’s adherence to human rights rehabilitating victims of torture, forensic investigations and documentation of torture cases and capacity building of key stake holders.
The Republic of Kenya is a country in East Africa. Lying along the Indian Ocean to its southeast and at the equator, it is bordered by Somalia to the northeast, Ethiopia to the north, Sudan to the northwest, Uganda to the west and Tanzania to the south. Kenya is a country of 47 counties each with its own government semi-autonomous to the central government in the capital, Nairobi.
The Kenyan Section of International Commission of Jurists and the Independent Medico Legal Unit condemns the Human Rights Violations perpetrated by the State security agents in Kenya.
We have noted with concern the rise of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings in Kenya; and wish to petition the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights on behalf of our clients, the aggrieved families and victims of gross human rights violations perpetrated by the police. We continue to receive evidence of the existence of a police extortion rings within special crime prevention units operating in Nairobi and Central Province within the Kenyan Republic that has given rise to the upsurge of extra-judicial killings, torture and forced disappearance of innocent civilians in Kenya.
That these police units are known to abduct innocent civilians and extract ‘protection fees’ from them using threats of execution. Some detainees are even required to ask their friends or relatives to send money to their phones (through mobile phone money transfers system) in order to secure their release. They are also asked to send regular amounts of money to specific police officers from the unit to avoid being arrested, evidence of which we have obtained.
That these police units arbitrarily arrest civilians and detain them in unconventional places, at undisclosed destinations and travel in unmarked vehicles whose number plates they change frequently, acts that are clearly illegal.
That efforts by various human rights organization to highlight and combat with these violations by the police unit have been met with the same wrath that their clients have been exposed to given that the said police officers openly intimidate human rights defenders by threats and actual aggression.
THAT notwithstanding the lodging of formal complaints to various police stations by families of the deceased, injured and missing persons and numerous calls for investigation and arrest of the perpetrators, no inquests and prosecutions have been initiated in compliance of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cap 75, Laws of Kenya).
That despite formal complaints by human rights organizations to his office, the Commissioner of Police has refused, failed and/or neglected to take action against the perpetrators and instead the police spokesperson, has made press statements in been a blanket defense of the Kenya Police Service.
That these violations have been previously investigated and documented by the Kenyan National Commission of Human Rights in a report titled “ The Cry of Blood” which is an account of at least 500 cases of enforced disappearances, torture and extra judicial killings within this context. Notwithstanding bringing this report to the attention of the Attorney General and The Commissioner of the police no action has been taken.
That by such inaction, not only is the Commissioner of Police failing to safeguard the right to life and the absolute prohibition of torture guaranteed under Articles 25, 26 and 29 of the Kenyan Constitution and further is in disregard of Kenya’s international obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Convention Against Torture and African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights all ratified by Kenya and which form part of the laws of Kenya in accordance with Article 2 of the Constitution.
THAT the said inaction is also a furtherance of non-implementation of specific recommendations by the United Nations on Kenya’s human rights situation, and in particular, the concluding observations of the United Nations Committee Against Torture (Nov 2008) where in the matter of Extra judicial killings and enforced disappearances the Committee where the Committee urged the State party (Kenya) to conduct immediate, prompt and impartial investigations into the serious allegations and ensure that perpetrators are prosecuted and punished with penalties appropriate to the grave nature of their acts as required by the Convention. The Committee further urged the State Party to take all possible steps to prevent acts such as the alleged extra judicial killings and enforced disappearances”
Following a fact finding mission by the United Nation Special Rapporteur on extra judicial, arbitrary or summary executions Professor Philip Alston on the 16th – 25th February 2009 the Special Rapporteur received documented systematic widespread and carefully planned extra judicial executions by the Kenyan police as contained in his report to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2009.
To date ,The perpetrators are yet to be held accountable for this human rights violations despite the recommendations made in this report.
That it is unacceptable that such flagrant and widespread human rights violations and extortion be allowed in contravention of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the Kenyan Constitution.
We therefore recommend that
i) The Commission carry out a fact finding mission be sent to Kenya to investigate the continued increase of extra judicial killings and uphold the sanctity of the right to life.
ii) That the Commission urge the Kenyan Government to respect its domestic and international obligations and put into place measures to prevent further extra judicial killings such as prompt and independent investigation of complaints and the prosecution of persons found responsibility and the compensation of victims and families of victims whose rights were infringed as a result of the extra judicial activities of the police.
In conclusion we call for the unconditional release of the Kenyan Human Rights Defender Al Amin Kimathi Coordinator Muslims Human Rights Forum arrested and illegally detained and maliciously prosecuted on terrorism related charges following his documentation of cases on Rendition of Terror Suspects.
Presented to the African Commission in April 2011.