Kenya records 128 extrajudicial executions in one year: IMLU

Kenya has recorded an increase in torture and related rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, and torture of children, the Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU) reports.

The Unit stated that since Ruto’s inauguration last year, cases of torture and violence have increased to 482 cases, a double-up in the numbers compared to a similar period between the years 2021 and 2022.

This marks a staggering increase of 250 cases compared to the 232 violations reported in a similar period, which is between October 1, 2021, and September 30, 2022, by IMLU.

“Out of these, 351 were torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, 128 were extrajudicial executions, and three were enforced disappearances,” IMLU stated.

According to IMLU, the country has witnessed a wave of punitive policing during protests, extrajudicial executions, deaths in custody, deliberate torture of children, interference with investigative authorities, unconditional interference by the National Police Service, and other human rights violations.

The unit further stated that the majority of victims were young male adults aged 18–35 years, accounting for 314, while those aged 36–65 years constituted 121, 0–17 years comprised 44, and those over 65 accounted for 3 persons.

415 of the victims who survived brutality were male, while 67 were female.

IMLU stated these are the highest numbers they have ever recorded in under a year.

“These are real people. They are not just numbers,” IMLU stated.

Despite the challenge, IMLU commended Ruto’s progress in appointing a Chief Pathologist, Court of Appeal judges, disbanding the Special Service Unit (SSU) and establishing a Task Force on Police and Prison Reforms under the able leadership of retired Chief Justice David Maraga.

The Unit also commended President Ruto for establishing financial independence for the National Police Service (NPS) with the appointment of a Principal Administrative Secretary (PAS) as the accounting officer. The appointment should ensure that the police can operate autonomously, free from executive influence.

IMLU also acknowledge Ruto’s fulfilment of his promise to facilitate the return of embattled lawyer Miguna Miguna.

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