Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

28 August 2014

Kenya: How Not to Counter Terrorism - the Kenyan Edition

analysis

In an effort to combat domestic terrorism, and in a bid to create an "open and united country", Kenya is breaking its own laws to harass, kidnap and execute suspects. It's a strange way to go about things, and could well backfire on the Kenyan government. By SIMON ALLISON.

In the wake of last year's Westgate siege, in which 67 people were killed, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta issued a grim warning to its perpetrators.

"We have overcome terrorist attacks before. In fact, we have fought courageously and defeated them within and outside our borders. We will defeat them again. Terrorism in and of itself, is the philosophy of cowards," he said. "But let me make it clear. We shall hunt down the perpetrators wherever they run to. We shall get them. We shall punish them for this heinous crime. I have directed security agencies to be decisive in their response to this or any other threat."

Nearly a year later, and we have a clearer picture of what it means when Kenyan security forces are "decisive in their response". Advocates for basic human rights and the rule of law, look away now.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) released an extraordinary report...

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