Amnesty International statement on the extrajudicial killing of Kevin Gitau- 16 April 2019


Amnesty Statement

Amnesty International Kenya has learnt of the killing of 25-year-old Kevin Gitau whose body was discovered at City Mortuary on 15 April 2019. He was last seen alive on the previous day at around 9.00 pm at an Oil Libya gas station along Juja Road where he was reportedly forced into a Toyota Probox suspected to be a police vehicle.

“Every person accused of a crime should have their guilt or innocence determined by a fair and effective legal process. But the right to a fair trial is not just about protecting suspects and defendants. It also makes societies safer and stronger. Without fair trials, trust in justice and in government collapses”. said Irũngũ Houghton, Amnesty International Kenya’s Executive Director.

Gitau had previously been arrested early in February and after a social media campaign, he was released. Since his release, he had been receiving threats from a police officer known as Ahmed Rashid. The threats were reported to IPOA. However, in a show of impunity, Pangani Police Station and Huruma Police Station refused to record his statement. It is noteworthy that no visible action was taken by authorities.

The Constitution vests the Judiciary with the responsibility to decide on the guilt or innocence of accused persons. However, the Judiciary relies on the police and IPOA to arrest suspects and conduct investigations in cases of police misconduct, and the Director of Public Prosecutions to prosecute for a just verdict to be reached.

Amnesty International Kenya sends out its sincere condolences to Kevin Gitau’s family and friends. There have also been unconfirmed reports that 5 young men have been killed by police in Mulango Kubwa and Pangani areas within the last 24 hours. We call upon authorities to conduct a thorough and independent investigations and hold the culprits accountable to ensure justice prevails.

“The new Inspector General of the National Police Service must ensure that all those linked to extra judicial executions and unlawful killings are investigated and prosecuted, all evidence properly preserved and witnesses protected to ensure the credibility of the investigations.” added Irũngũ Houghton.

We also call on the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) to conduct thorough, impartial and effective investigation into extrajudicial execution of Gitau – bearing in mind that he had reported to them on 8 February 2019 that he was receiving threats from the police after his arrest and release after a social media campaign on 2 February 2019.
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