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The Kenyan government does not keep a formal record of police killings and enforced disappearances. Our research, research from other human rights organizations and the media indicate that enforced disappearance and police killings are a systemic problem in Kenya
While Kenya has laws in books to address police killings, these laws are inadequate, and in most cases, they are not enforced adequately. The turning point for the work on enforced disappearances and police killings, at least in the public conscious, was when lawyer Willie Kimani, his client Josephat Mwenda and their driver Joseph Muiruri was abducted and subsequently executed in June 2016. The public outcry that followed the discovery of their tortured bodies has rekindled public interest in addressing the issue.
When confronted with human rights reports or media accounts, authorities continue to either deny or dismiss what appears to be a government policy on enforced disappearances and extrajudicial executions. Research shows that most police killings are preceded by enforced disappearances, which significantly increases whenever security agencies are engaged in eliminating suspected organized criminal groups. Kenyan police are implicated in enforced disappearances and police killings during security operations.
“An innocent citizen had been murdered and they were going to blame it on the Coronavirus, or call him a thug that had to be dealt with. No. They would not dishonor our community so far.” – Mradi, Nairobi