The right to be

sect members dragged from homes and shot dead!

Posted by kikuyusworld on August 1, 2007

Lobbyists to expose sect member killingsStory by MUCHEMI WACHIRA
Publication Date: 7/31/2007

Kenya National Commission on Human Rights secretary to the Commission Mburu Gitu addresses the Press during a conference on human rights in Kenya at the Stanley Hotel in Nairobi yesterday. Photo/ ANTHONY OMUYA

A State-financed human rights watchdog will hold public hearings into the police killings of people suspected to be linked to the outlawed Mungiki sect.

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) yesterday said there had been complaints of excessive force applied by the police in their war on the sect members.

There have been claims that some of those killed by the police were lined up and executed after their arrest.

In one of the incidents, 23 suspects were killed after they were found taking oath at Gikui village, Murang’a North district on June 30.

Dragged from home

Another group is said to have been dragged from their homes and later killed on suspicion they were criminals or terrorists, said KNCHR commissioner Hassan Omar.

“We have documented some of these cases and we are still investigating. We shall be able to establish the circumstances under which they were killed,” he said.

He promised action in every case where the commission established that police used excessive force.

“It doesn’t matter how long it will take for action to be taken. Even if it is after 20 years, those involved in the killings will not be spared,” he said.

He, however, said the KNCHR did not support criminals. “If one is a criminal, let him face the law. But the killings we have witnessed recently have set a bad precedence in this country,” he added.

The commissioner said the organisation had provided 2,274 people with either legal advice or legal services after their human rights were violated.

Some of these cases, a principal human rights officer with the organisation Njonjo Mue said included police torture and labour violations on workers.

Commission secretary Mburu Gitu said human rights work was not seen as a serious job in the country.

The KNCHR officials were addressing a breakfast meeting for the media at a Nairobi hotel. 

One of the challenges the commission faced was lack of political goodwill.

Hate speech Bill

“We are always attacked and witch hunted by both the politicians and the Government administration officers who do not understand why we should hold the Government accountable for abusing human rights,” commissioner Omar said.

Mr Gitu said among their achievements is drafting of hate speech Bill, that seeks to criminalise speeches that fuel ethic conflict.


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