Kenyan police charged with crimes against humanity

NAIROBI: In a landmark decision, Kenyan prosecutors said on Friday they would charge police officers with crimes against humanity over a deadly crackdown on post-election protests in 2017.
The charges cover rape, murder and torture and include the case of a six-month-old baby girl whose death became a symbol of police brutality during the bloody election aftermath.
“This is the first case of crimes against humanity charged under Kenyan domestic law using the International Crimes Act and also the first criminal prosecution of electoral-related sexual violence,” the director of public prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji said.
An official at the prosecutor’s office said 12 senior police officers were facing charges.
The police crackdown following the disputed presidential election in Aug 2017 saw around 100 people killed over a four-month period.
“The attacks were planned, coordinated and not random,” the DPP statement said, saying various offences such as torture, rape and sexual violence “were committed by or under the authority of senior national police officers”.
The baby, Samantha Pendo, died after being beaten by police during a raid on her house as protests flared in the western city of Kisumu.
Officers fired tear gas into their house and battered down the door before raining blows on the couple with batons while the mother held Samantha in her arms.
Extra-judicial killings are rife in Kenya, and justice is rare with few examples of police being held to account.
Enlightened leadership
Amnesty International’s secretary general on Friday called for new “enlightened” political leadership in Africa, lamenting shrinking civil liberties in Mali, Senegal and elsewhere on the continent.
Speaking to reporters in the Senegalese capital Dakar after visiting both countries, Agnes Callamard spoke of worrying reports of abuses in Mali and urged more transparency in probes into protester deaths in Senegal.
She said West African nations were experiencing a reduction in the scope of individual freedoms, with activists being prosecuted, security forces using excessive force against protesters, and journalists under pressure throughout the region. —Agencies

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.