KNCHR calls for investigations into Wajir, Kisumu shootings

It noted that use of excess force causing death is a violation of human rights.

In Summary
  • It called on the Service to respect human rights and act within the law.
  • The body went on to recommend measures for the NPS, IPOA, and KWS to undertake so as to prevent the incidents witnessed. 
KNCHR Chairperson Roseline Odede.
KNCHR Chairperson Roseline Odede.

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) has called upon authorities to conduct investigations into the recent killings of people by the police.

Last week, police allegedly killed a 12-year-old in Wajir during protests after the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) allegedly shot dead two suspected poachers.

On Tuesday, a 19-year-old student from Rang'ala Girls' High School was shot dead during protests, and several persons were injured.

In a statement released by KNCHR chairperson Roseline Odede on Wednesday, the body condemned the killings.

"The use of excessive force resulting in loss of life and injuries to innocent persons is a violation and abuse of their human rights and it is unacceptable and must be condemned by all law-abiding citizens," Odede said.

Odede also condoled the families of the victims, noting that it was unfortunate that the incidents had occurred in a span of days between May 5 and May 9.

"KNCHR calls upon the relevant authorities to conduct prompt and impartial investigations into the incidents and ensure that the officers responsible are held accountable," she added.

It said some members of the National Police Service had gone rogue and resulting in impunity and what now was a series of innocent killings. 

The body quoted Article 238, of the Constitution which provides for the establishment of the NPS and mandates it to uphold the law, protect life and property, prevent and detect crime, and maintain order.

It called on the service to respect human rights and act within the law, adding that the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) has a crucial role to play in ensuring accountability and transparency in the policing sector.

"Article 244, provides for the establishment of the IPOA and mandates it to hold the police accountable to the public in the performance of their functions," it said.

"The Commission calls upon the IPOA to conduct prompt and impartial investigations into these incidents and ensure that police officers responsible are held accountable."

The body went on to recommend measures for the NPS, IPOA, and KWS to undertake so as to prevent the incidents witnessed. 

They include training police officers and law enforcement agents on human rights and the use of force, particularly in situations involving peaceful demonstrations.

KNCHR also said police officers and law enforcement agents should be adequately equipped and trained to handle situations that may arise during peaceful demonstrations.

It further advocated the establishment of effective complaint mechanisms that are accessible to the public, especially those who have been victims of police brutality or misconduct, and regular undertaking of internal reviews of police and law enforcement agents' conduct and performance, with a view to identifying and addressing any issues that may arise.

"The KNCHR also reiterates that the government has a duty to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of its citizens in the bill of rights, as enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution, which provides that it is the duty of the state and every state organ to observe, respect, protect, promote, and fulfill the rights," the body said.

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