Kenya: Noordin Haji Laments Rise in Torture, Extrajudicial Killings

10 December 2018

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has decried the sudden upsurge in cases of torture, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, saying they could erode trust in the government and encourage the emergence of organised gangs.

He said his office will hold a multiagency, round table discussion with civil society groups today to discuss ways of curbing the incidents.

Speaking during a dinner marking the Independent Medico-Legal Unit's (IMLU) 25th anniversary on Friday, Mr Haji said his office is committed to sensitising the various stakeholders on he need to end torture, extrajudicial killings and kidnapping by security agents.

He noted that Kenya is a signatory to the UN Human Rights Charter and UN Convention Against Torture and other legal instruments that outlaw such actions, and that there is a need for government officers to adhere to the rule of law.

WATCHDOG

The DPP observed that the fight against torture, violence and intimidation requires an integrated and holistic approach, with primary focus on detection and prevention.

To achieve this, his office has established an internal affairs unit and a civil and human rights unit which, together with Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) and the National Police Service, will join the fight against the atrocities perpetrated by State agents.

"Violation of human rights is an insidious trait that has a wide range of effects on society. The fact that the State has the monopoly of violence demands that that monopoly be used responsibly and legitimately ...

"This forum is timely, given the current societal concerns over extrajudicial killings, torture and enforced disappearances of Kenyans. As a country that strives to enforce the rule of law, these concerns cannot be taken lightly," he said.

JUSTICE

IMLU Executive Director Peter Kiama said his organisation has helped more than 5,000 victims of torture and degrading inhumane treatment pursue justice.

Mr Haji said the ODPP and IMLU had played a pivotal role in the enactment of the bill against torture and the National Coroners' Service Act, which seek to safeguard human rights.

Police Spokesman Charles Owino, who represented Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet, said the National Police Service has taken bold steps towards ending police brutality.

He said they will fully cooperate with the justice system whenever their colleague(s) is found culpable of violating human rights, adding that they are working to ensure that all officers follow the procedures when reporting and accounting for the use of force.

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