DEADLY FORCE

Nairobi leads in police extra-judicial killings, says IMLU

Most of the killings happened in informal settlements

In Summary

• Some 59 people were summarily executed between January and September this year

• IMLU says the numbers could be higher as victims report to police stations and not to NGOs

 

Nairobi leads in the number of extrajudicial killings in the country, a new Independent Medico-Legal Unit report shows.

The rights lobby says 78 people were killed in countrywide police operations between January and September this year, 28 of them in Nairobi.

Kiambu followed with 10 killings, Mombasa (eight), Embu (five), Tana River (four) and Kisumu, Murang'a and Nyandarua three each.

Most of the cases happened in the informal settlements. Police were also involved in harassment, extortion, brutality and injuries, according to IMLU.

The report, seen by  Star, shows that 59 of the deaths were summary executions.  Thirteen of the deaths were committed in self-defence. The report is not specific on how six of the deaths happened. 

The IMLU numbers show a comparative decline in extrajudicial executions in the last five years. It recorded 199 in 2014 and 126 in 2015. There were 144 in 2016 and 152 in 2017 while 121 were recorded in 2018.

IMLU compiled the data from print and electronic media reports and from its network of monitors.

It says the numbers could be higher as victims of excessive police force report to police stations and not to NGOs. 

The lobby "has noted that the incidences of lethal police leading to deaths have been rising despite the clamour for fundamental reforms in the police service."

Its monthly breakdown shows that the highest numbers of extrajudicial killings happened in April and September at 13 each. February and June had 11 cases while eight were reported in August.

January had five cases while July and May had four. 

We could get an official response on the IMLU report as police spokesman Charles Owino was said to be away in The Gambia.