By Missing Voices Team
Published April 29, 2022
The government agency for the protection of human rights has urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to publicly denounce and condemn extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in the country.
In a statement, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) said extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances constitute egregious human rights violations protected under domestic and international human rights laws.
“Extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances constitute egregious human rights violations protected under domestic and international laws,” KNCHR Vice-Chairperson Dr. Raymond Nyeris said on Wednesday, April 27, 2022.
Nyeris spoke in Nakuru at Nyayo Gardens during the official launch of the annual Missing Voices report on police killings and enforced disappearances in 2021.
During the launch, Missing Voices said it had documented 219 cases of police killings and enforced disappearances in 2021 alone. Out of these, 187 cases were of police killings, and 32 of enforced disappearances.
Pangani Police Station leads with the highest number of police killings in Kenya. Missing Voices documented 30 cases of police killings that are reportedly associated with Pangani Police Station. In 2021, every month, with the exception of June, officers from Pangani are accused of murder.
KNCHR decried the abduction of terror suspects by security agents which it said was rampant in the country.
“We have also witnessed a new disturbing phenomenon where terror suspects are abducted and disappeared by security agencies only to resurface due to media and public outrage after being held incommunicado for very long,” Nyeris said.
KNCHR has called on the state to expedite the ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances.
“The Convention classifies the right not to be subjected to an enforced disappearance as non-derogable which means it cannot be restricted or suspended even in times of war or other public emergencies,” the commission said.
Nyeris, while appreciating the critical role played by civil society organisations, called on the office of the Attorney General to operationalize the National Coroner’s Service Act and the Prevention of Torture Act.
The Act he said, assigns the KNCHR the mandate of investigating cases of torture in conjunction with other investigative agencies.