Inmate dies after alleged torture

August 10, 2008 12:00 am

, KITALE, August 10 – A robbery with violence suspect at the Kitale Police Station has died from alleged torture wounds inflicted on him while in custody.

Fellow inmates claim that Barasa Wanjala, 40, died after numerous pleas he made to officers for medical attention fell on deaf ears.

They charge that Wanjala was badly beaten while in custody for failing to confess to a robbery.

Reports suggest that the father of five was arrested on July 24, 2008, for allegedly participating in a robbery in Birunda Market, but by August 6 he had not written a statement confirming participation in the raid.

Kitale Police boss Bernard Muli denied the allegations made by the inmates and stated that the suspect died while on his way to hospital.
Muli however was non-committal on why the suspect had been denied medical attention as alleged by family members.
His badly mutilated body has been taken to the Kitale District Hospital mortuary.

Wanjala’s relatives are adamant that their kinsman was tortured, and narrated that he had produced an alibi verifying that he was in Kakamega at the time of the said robbery. They accused police of dismissing his testimony.

The Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (CPJC), which spoke to journalists on behalf of the man’s family, demanded an inquest into the death of the suspect.

CJPC officials Boniface Wanyoike and Leonard Barasa appealed to the Police Commissioner Major General Hussein Ali to step in and probe the matter, amid claims of numerous other similar cases at the police station.
They claimed that another suspect arrested in the Birunda robbery, is also in a critical condition at the station.

Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa has announced that he would send independent doctors to perform a post mortem on Wanjala’s body to verify the torture allegations.


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