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July 18, 2018

Police executed Mukuru eight, rights body postmortem report shows

Peter Kiama, Independent Medico Legal Unit executive director, with Peris Marita, mother to 26-year-old Albert Nyachai who was among eight young men killed by police officers on suspicion of being robbers, during a press briefing at IMLU offices, May 4, 2016. Photo/RHODA ODHIAMBO
Peter Kiama, Independent Medico Legal Unit executive director, with Peris Marita, mother to 26-year-old Albert Nyachai who was among eight young men killed by police officers on suspicion of being robbers, during a press briefing at IMLU offices, May 4, 2016. Photo/RHODA ODHIAMBO

Officers summarily executed eight young men in Mukuru kwa Reuben, Nairobi, in April, preliminary findings by human rights body IMLU show.

The Independent Medico Legal Unit now wants Ipoa to investigate four officers who killed the men on suspicion that they were criminals.

Results from postmortems conducted by IMLU show that the men, aged between 15 and 26, had multiple gunshot wounds to their upper and lower backs.

The report also showed that they were shot at close range, either while kneeling or lying on the ground.

“These findings are a clear indication that the deceased were summarily executed, contrary to earlier reports by police that they had shot dead eight armed gangsters, some of whom were fleeing," said IMLU in-house doctor Anne Masika.

Executive director Peter Kiama also called on the DPP to prosecute the officers, once IPOA concludes its investigation and submits a report.

“We are greatly dismayed by the impunity displayed by police officers in this incident. There are ways of dealing with suspects rather than shooting them on sight," said Kiama.

“We are also seeing an increased rate in the use of lethal force when police officers deal with suspects. Use of lethal force should not be the default mode of policing. There are other ways of dealing with suspects."

IMLU also wants Parliament to immediately enact the National Coroners Bill, which will provide for an independent forensic investigations unit that will look into questionable deaths.

 Anne Njeri, mother to victim, 20 year-old William Musyoka, said he spent most of his time at home watching movies.

“There’s nothing more painful than learning that your only child has been shot dead on suspicion that he’s a criminal. Police should have arrested them. Killing them was not an option,” said another mother, Agnes Kerubo.

The men's families want the government and the Independent Policing Oversight Authority to take action against the officers. 

Read: Mukuru youth protest killing

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