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September 25, 2018

Lobby accuses cops for 803 extra judicial killings

Members of the Social Centre Working Group sing a solidarity song at the Social Justice Hall in Mathare yesterday.Photo/ Enos Teche
Members of the Social Centre Working Group sing a solidarity song at the Social Justice Hall in Mathare yesterday.Photo/ Enos Teche

Police carried out at least 803 extrajudicial killings between 2013 and 2015, a civil society group has claimed.

The lobby Social Justice Working Group said on Friday the number is a compilation of all documented deaths reported in the media over the period.

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The group, which comprises activists and relatives of victims, said the deaths include 308 in 2013, 418 deaths in 2014 and 77 cases in 2015. It did not report figures for 2016 and last year.

Yesterday, the group launched a month-long campaign to call for an end to extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearance of youth in informal settlements.

The Saba Saba March For Our Lives campaign will culminate in a rally on July 7 at the Kamukunji grounds where the group will present petitions to the United Nations, the AU and the Kenyan government.

Read: Police killed 803 Kenyans in cold blood from 2013 to 2015 - activists

“Our communities have suffered for so long in silence and life has become unbearable. The police kill us, mothers are left without sons while others are left widowed with the responsibility of raising their children without fathers,” convener Wilfred Olal said.

He spoke at the Mathare Social Justice Centre during the launch of the campaign.

How the police condemn extrajudicial killings, they deny the high numbers and say only a few rogue officers may be involved.

The lobby includes friends and relatives of victims from Mathare, Dandora, Kayole, Kamukunji and Githurai.

“We have come together as the voice of our communities to demand an end to extrajudicial killings and demand that investigations be carried out and the perpetrators brought to book,” John Mulinga from the Kamukunji Human Rights Defenders said.

Read:Report sheds light on extrajudicial killing of 800 Mathare youths

The group said police officers responsible for the summary execution of youth in the informal settlements are known to them.

They, however, said the rogue cops intimidate witnesses who in turn fear to speak out.

“Three police officers are the ones frustrating us,” said Catherine (not her real name), a mother who lost two sons soon after the election last year.

Her sons were shot as they fled from the police.

“They target young boys. If you are well dressed they shoot you. To them, you are a criminal. I don’t want to reveal my name because police have threatened us,” Catherine said.

On May 21, the Independent Policing Oversight Authority released a report covering the six years it has been in office. Out of the 9,000 cases, it only managed to secure four convictions.

Also Read: 13 killed by police in Mathare in two months, says rights report

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