HRW: Kenya needs to address police killings

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Human Rights Watch (HRW) is calling upon authorities in Kenya to address a “scourge” of unlawful police killings.

The rights group says its own investigations found three separate incidents where Nairobi police killed 21 alleged suspects unlawfully in some of the capital’s poorest neighbourhoods. HRW is calling for authorities to investigate the killings and hold guilty officers accountable.

HRW on Nairobi police killings

“While we managed to investigate 21 recent killings, activists working in these neighborhoods [sic] and the media report much higher numbers,” HRW said on Thursday. “But for many reasons, including the non-cooperation by police to obscure justice, and reluctance by victims and witnesses to report the crimes, police killings are rarely reported or investigated.”

The group’s investigations find many police officers in Kenya’s capital are acting with impunity.

“Police don’t follow their own procedures for reporting each killing. In the few cases where investigations are ongoing, police have failed to cooperate with investigators from Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA), a civilian police accountability institution.”

The organisation says it contacted Hillary Mutyambai last week, who was recently named the new inspector general of Police, to share its findings and push for accountability.

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About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.