Time to end scourge of police executions

In Summary

• Two young men in Murang'a were shot dead after being arrested and handcuffed by the police

• In February a policeman was sentenced to death for murdering Willie Kimani, a lawyer prosecuting him

We were told that the era of extra-judicial killings was over but now an extreme case has emerged in Murang'a.

On Saturday a gang robbed a bank. Two young men were arrested uninjured and photographed in handcuffs. (They were apparently photographed by junior police officers who posted the pictures on social media.) Later their bodies were found shot on the ground. The police claimed they were victims of 'accurate shooting'.

The evidence is overwhelming that the police executed these two young men. The Independent Police Oversight Authority is now investigating. 

The police will argue that the courts let criminals escape but the police cannot be judge and jury on its own, arrest and execute suspects. Innocent people can lose their lives.

In February a court sentenced to death the police officer who murdered Willie Kimani, a lawyer prosecuting him for grievous bodily harm. If the police can execute citizens at will, the Kimani case shows then that no-one is safe.

Given the photographic evidence, IPOA should make a strong recommendation for criminal prosecution. Few countries in the world match the extent of extra-judicial police killings in Kenya. It is time to end this scourge.

Quote of the day: "The magician and the politician have much in common: they both have to draw our attention away from what they are really doing."

Ben Okri
The Nigerian poet and author was born on March 15, 1959

WATCH: The latest videos from the Star