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Human Rights Day:Families of extrajudicial killing victims want independent inquiry

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Today, the world will be commemorating International Human Rights Day but victims of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances say no major strides have been made.

Human rights groups claim their civil space is shrinking as the government is actively clamping them down. The State has denied the claims.

The Star has revealed through several interviews ahead of this day that ownership of land and entitlement to a decent living have been violated, ostensibly by the government.

Victims have turned to NGOs including Muslims for Human Rights (Muhuri) for help.

Hafswa Bunu from Lamu lost his brother, Ali Bunu because of 300 acres of land on the Lapsset corridor program.

The Lamu parcel is worth Sh900 million.

When Ali was abducted in 2016, allegedly by security forces, he was accused of being an al Shabaab operative.

The same day, there was an attack in Garissa and police reportedly linked him to the onslaught.

He was captured at Faza area with five other workers.

One was shot dead during the operation. Another escaped.

Ali had stayed on the land for 20 years.

His house and properties were totally razed down after the raid.

He was later killed.

Hafswa had no idea his brother is dead and separately offered up to Sh920,000 allegedly to the police for him to be freed.

People she identified as police gave her a special line to communicate with and ease transaction.

“I did not know police had turned to be conmen,” she said.

She was told his brother was at Pangani police station in Nairobi where she first gave Sh70,000.

She was shown his brother’s file with correct details and told he was at Shimo La Tewa prison, Mombasa.

“I was told to give another Sh300,000 to see him. I met a person who identified himself as a police by the name Mutua at Mama Ngina Drive and took the money. He showed a CID badge,” she said.

Read: Changamwe police boss defends colleagues over extrajudicial killings

Mutua reportedly demanded another Sh150,000.

Hafswa was to be contacted after two days.

Another Sh400,000 was needed and Hafswa sold her car and gold jewellery.

The money was delivered but his brother was nowhere to be seen.

Hafswa’s special line was later blocked.

“It means someone high in government was aware of the operation,” she said.

Through Muhuri, she filed a court in case but was threatened and abandoned it.

“There is no justice in Kenya,” she said. 

71 KILLED OR DISAPPEARED

Muhuri executive director Hassan Abdille said 71 people have either been killed in cold blood or forced to disappear in the last one year

at the Coast.

“Sometime the security agencies kill in the context of extortion or of a ransom demand,” he said

Abdille said in the circumstances where police would have made an arrest, they killed and tortured in the name of “crime control”.

“There is overwhelming evidence of police shootings with explicit mandate to exterminate people including suspected gang members,” he

said.

“While it is the sole responsibility of the government and its security agencies to maintain law and order to deal with threats of insecurities, all interventions employed should always respect the rule of law, human rights and the spirit of the constitution.”

Rapid Response officer Francis Auma said wanton killings and forceful detainment and disappearances of civilians without following the due

the process is a blatant violation of human rights.

The mothers of three teenagers gunned down in Utange, Mombasa on September are yet to come to terms with the killings.

The deceased are Juma Kitsao(18), Bilal Masoud (17) and Kenya Ramadhan (19).

Police said they were criminals.

Masoud’s mother, Majumaa Ngao dispute.

“My son was shot five times,” she said.

Sadaka Kitsao, the mother of other two asked rights groups to find her justice.

Auma said if they were suspects, due process should have followed.

Abdille said extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances further polarizes, strengthens and plays straight into the narratives of those who recruit the gangs and violent extremist groups.

“We want instantaneous removal of Inspector General of police who has encouraged the impunity that exists,” he said.

He asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to set up an independent inquiry to investigate gross human right violations.

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