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September 20, 2018

Social groups demand end to extrajudicial killings during Saba Saba protest

Extrajudicial deaths must stop./COURTESY
Extrajudicial deaths must stop./COURTESY

Nairobi woman rep Esther Passaris has led other Social Justice Working Groups in a march aimed at stopping extra-judicial killings.

The group, which comprises activists and relatives of victims, on Saturday marched along Nairobi streets as they headed to Kamkunji grounds.

They are going to the grounds to present petitions to the United Nations, African Union and the government.

The working group is made up of civil societies, victims of police brutality and their kin, who are drawn from Mathare, Dandora, Kayole, Kamukunji and Githurai.

"We lost so many lives through extra-judicial killings during the post-election season and the government needs to compensate victim's families and prosecute rogue cops," Passaris said via Twitter.

Dubbed #SabaSabaMarchForOurLives, the youths who are clad in 'stop killing us T-shirts' wailed and shouted as they blew their whistles.

Saba Saba, a Swahili word for (Seven Seven) is marked every year on July 7. The day commemorates protesters who successfully pressed for Kenya's multi-party democracy in 1990.

Kenyans mark it with several activities including pushing the government to end injustices.

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Carrying a coffin written 'stop extrajudicial killing' and 'Youths lives matters' some of the youths slept down on the road as they imitated how the police kill the innocent.

"Life is priceless. Our waheshimiwa, until when will the death of our young men continue making headlines," one was heard shouting.

The youth carried placards written 'Never again', as they said no to normalisation of police killings in informal settlements.

"Corrupt police officers must be prosecuted and punished for their evil deeds," some were heard shouting as the crowd got larger.

More info: Report sheds light on extrajudicial killing of 800 Mathare youths

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On June 8th, the group claimed the police carried out at least 803 extrajudicial killings between 2013 and 2015. There were 308 in 2013, 418 in 2014 and 77 in 2015.

The group launched a month-long campaign for an end to extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances of youths in informal settlements.

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

More on this: Police killed 803 Kenyans in cold blood from 2013 to 2015 - activists

Also read: Police killing us like rats, cry Nairobi slum youth

This comes as Amnesty International has rated Kenya top in Africa for summarily executing its citizens.

Amnesty International’s 2016/17 report said by October 2016, it documented 122 extrajudicial killings, but the number could be even higher as there were no official data on such cases.

A London-based human rights charity reveals in a report released on March 13 that Kenya National Police Service officers use extrajudicial killings as a matter of policy.

More on this: Four convictions out of 9,000 cases draws flak for IPOA as officials exit

Also see: Many police cases beyond IPOA mandate, convictions a 'milestone' - official

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