Widow of slain Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif sues Kenyan government

The widow of a Pakistani journalist killed almost one year ago in Kajiado has sued the Kenya government demanding compensation for his killing.

Ms Javeria Sidique together with the Kenya Union of Journalists and Kenya Correspondents Association are also demanding a public apology from the government over the killing of Arshad Sharif on October 23, last year.

Mr Sharif had fled his country in July 2022, to avoid arrest for criticising the country’s powerful military only to be shot dead at Tinga are, Kajiado County, in what the police later described as a case of mistaken identity.

Also Read: Pakistan minister: Evidence suggest Arshad Sharif’s death was planned

Other than general damages for violation of their rights, the family wants the court to compel Attorney General Justin Muturi to issue a public apology, including an acknowledgment of the facts, and acceptance of responsibility to the family of Mr Sharif within seven days of the court’s order.

Ms Sidique has named Mr Muturi, Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome, Independent Police Oversight Authority and the Director of Public Prosecution Renson Ingonga as respondents in the case.

She says the respondents are jointly and severally liable for the acts of the police officers who were acting in the course of duty.

Her lawyer Dudley Ochiel argued that the use of lethal force against Arshad Sharif by shooting him on the head was arbitrary, disproportionate, unlawful, and unconstitutional.

Mr Ochiel said the shooting to death of the 49-year-old journalist violated his right to life, right to equal benefit and protection of the law, right to dignity and right to security of the person.

Also Read: Pakistani President speaks over death of senior journalist in Kenya

The widow, who reveals that Mr Sharif used to provide for his two wives, five children and his mother is also seeking for independent, prompt, and effective investigation be commenced and his killers be prosecuted. She is also seeking copies of all documents, files, reports, letters, electronic mail or evidence, in any medium such as films, photographs, videotapes, in police custody, relating to the shooting.

Mr Sharif was a passenger in a Toyota Land cruiser KDG 200M and the police claimed to have been trailing a different vehicle, a Mercedes Benz Sprinter van KDJ 700F, allegedly stolen from Pangani, Nairobi.

The following day, she said the police boss admitted that police officers had “fatally wounded” Arshad Sharif in a case of “mistaken identity”.

The Inspector General also expressed regret for “the unfortunate incident” and promised that investigations were underway and appropriate action will be taken against the officers involved.

She said IPOA equally promised speedy investigations stating that it was in full support of President William Ruto’s stand against extrajudicial killings.

“Since the arbitrary and fatal shooting of Arshad Sharif by the Kenya police, there has been no investigations at all or, in the alternative, if there have been there, they have not been prompt, independent, impartial, effective, accountable, or led to the prosecution of the material and intellectual perpetrators of the violation,” she said in a sworn statement.

Ms Sidique says she has written to IPOA, the police boss, and the DPP on the status of the probe but they have all ignored her request.

She said she fears that the failure to investigate, arrest, or prosecute the police officers who unlawfully shot and killed Mr Sharif amounts to a criminal cover-up and threatens further violation of the Constitution.

New twist: Pakistan media claim Arshad Sharif was tortured before death

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