Twenty-two women claiming to have lost their sons or husbands through extrajudicial killings in Nairobi have sued the Attorney-General and the Inspector-General of Police for the government’s failure to investigate the use of force by police.
The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) and the Director of Public Prosecutions are listed as interested parties.
In documents filed at the High Court, the International Justice Mission says that the cases involve males between the ages of 15 and 35 and, in some instances, even younger, allegedly killed by the police between 2014 and 2017.
The women say the outcome of any investigations into the killings is yet to be known, and that they have not been informed of the findings of any probe.
“It is our contention that the State has not taken adequate steps to adopt adequate positive measures to prevent further killings of individuals during police or law enforcement operations,” their lawyer, Ms Ruth Kihuria, told the court.
They said truth is key in the administration of justice and, in instances where police use force, it can be established only through prompt, thorough and impartial investigations.
“By failing to inform them or their family members of the existence of the inquest proceedings in regard to their deceased kin and requiring their participation in the proceedings, the IG has violated their right to access justice, information and truth,” added Ms Kihuria.
All the women have indicated the circumstances in which their relatives died. Some also reported the incidents to Ipoa.
They want the High Court to declare that the IG’s failure to investigate cases in which use of force by police resulted in death amounts to a violation of the right to equal protection.
They also want Mr Boinnet compelled to probe the circumstances in which their relatives died.
Further, they want the AG ordered to advise the President to establish a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate extrajudicial killings and use of excessive force by police.
The case will be mentioned on January 23, 2019.
The deaths brought up by the women form part of documented cases of unresolved killings allegedly carried out by police in Nairobi.