13 February 2013

Kenya: Poll Chaos Victims Sue State for Violations

Nairobi — Nineteen victims of alleged police brutality during the Post Election Violence (PEV) of 2008 now want senior government officials charged with murder, crimes against humanity and mass displacement.

In the application in which they also seek compensation, the victims say that Attorney- General Githu Muigai, DPP Keriako Tobiko and Inspector General David Kimaiyo ought to face the charges for negligence.

The applicants want the three held responsible since their offices failed to prevent, investigate the crimes and prosecute those responsible.

The victims from Nyanza and Rift valley provinces resorted to court action saying the Constitution allows Kenyans to seek remedies for violation of their rights during the PEV.

The petitioners claim that about 405 people died during the 2007/2008 PEV as a result of police brutality.

They also want the High Court to compel the government to form a special division to do proper and credible investigations and prosecute those found responsible.

They also say that the government ought to offer psychosocial and medical care as well as apologise to them.

Police officers deployed in the said areas, they say, used excessive force against the victims indiscriminately and without justification.

Arguing that police killings amount to crimes against humanity, the petitioners say the government is legally obligated to investigate and prosecute those who shot civilians.

They contend that several government bodies knew that election related violence was going to occur and failed to take adequate measures to prevent the skirmishes.

Advocate Timothy Bryant who is representing the victims claims there is evidence that extra judicial killings were not justified because police targeted civilians.

They say their fundamental rights have been violated because of failure by the police to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators and provide effective remedies.

"They failed to activate the security apparatus as required to prevent the occurrence of violence," argues Bryant.

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