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February 20, 2019

Rights groups welcome probe into police killings

Society for International Development senior advisor Irungu Houghton.
Society for International Development senior advisor Irungu Houghton.

Human rights agencies yesterday welcomed DPP Noordin Haji’s announcement that he will form a team to investigate police executions.

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Muslims for Human Rights urged that the team covers the entire country — not just the Coast region.

“I watched it with a lot of interest. In the past when we pushed for this, we didn’t even get a comment from the former DPP. In a way it is a positive step. However, the magnitude of the problem must be understood before the committee is formed. It’ll be good to engage all stakeholders who have worked on extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances for him to understand and appreciate the magnitude,” HRW Africa researcher Otsieno Namwaya said.

He said the task force should be made up of officers from the DPP office, civil society groups and independent investigators.

Amnesty International- Kenya executive director Irungu Houghton said the declaration sends a clear message to all police offices and security agents that they will be “held personally responsible for acts of police brutality abductions and extrajudicial killings”.

He wants all past cases reviewed with a view to probing the officers involved.

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