KHRC: Police working with suspected private militia to butcher people in Dandora, Kibera
Human rights lobbies have accused the police of working with the suspected private militia to “attack and butcher” people in Dandora and Kibera in Nairobi, Mlolongo in Machakos and some areas in Kisumu and Migori.
In a joint statement on Friday, the Kenyan Human Rights Commission (KHRC), Amnesty International Kenya, Katiba Institute among other lobbies noted the rise of use of non-uniformed officers mostly seen to use vehicles with either distorted or no number plates, bundling protestors into car trunks and speed off to unknown locations.
The lobbies said the deaths during the countrywide demonstrations, in some areas like Mlolongo, stand out as clear examples of “state-ordered executions”, where the security agencies showed a disturbing intent to shoot to kill.
“From July 7 to 19, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have reported 27 extrajudicial, summary, and arbitrary executions (EJE)—fatal police shootings. While President Ruto had promised to end the era of police killer squads, the recent unfoldings reveal that the security agencies have clear intentions to execute protestors,” the statement read in part.
In Mlolongo, three individuals suffered gunshot wounds to the head, one had a close-range gunshot wound to the chest, and a lady bore a gunshot wound on her back. These killings took place miles away from the Expressway, where the main protests were ongoing.
The lobbies also highlighted the alarming tactic of some officers masquerading as journalists to arrest and execute protestors.
“This raises deep concerns about the safety and integrity of journalists covering the protests and the ethical implications of such actions,’ they said.
“We are witnessing a disturbing pattern of police operations that exposes the country to civil strife and informal repression,” KHRC warned.
The body called for urgent investigation and action from the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) and the Internal Affairs Unit (IAU).
The United Nations Human Rights (UNHR) Office on July 14 also shared concerns on allegations of unnecessary or disproportionate use of force, including the use of firearms, by police during protests in Kenya.
Azimio leaders have also condemned the alleged killings and disappearances of their counterparts suspected to be caused by police officers.