NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 11 – A local non-governmental organisation has written to the International Criminal Court (ICC), inviting it to investigate alleged executions and disappearances of over 8000 suspected Mungiki sect members.,
Oscar Foundation, a free legal aid clinic with networks in Kenya said it had documented numerous cases of mysterious deaths and disappearances on the banned sect members blamed on the police.
“We want the ICC to take up this matter and expeditiously investigate these atrocities,” the foundation’s Executive Director Kamau King’ara said.
In a the letter to the ICC dated January 1, 2009, Mr King’ara states that many of the youths were arrested, detained and tortured while in police custody before they were killed.
“Their bodies were found dumped in mortuaries or abandoned in forests in the outskirts of Nairobi,” he said.
“We therefore, ask the ICC to send international investigators to come and carry out independent investigations,” part of the letter in our possession states. It is addressed to the ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo.
Many of the youths were killed since 2002 when the sect was declared an illegal grouping.
Tired of its massacre killings across the country, mainly in Central Kenya and Nairobi, the government launched an offensive operation in 2007 when the largest number of the sect members were arrested and others killed.
Police have blamed the Mungiki for dozens of killings, with several of the victims having been beheaded.
”The cycle of police brutality continues to be perpetuated with impunity and remains the most serious and divisive human rights violations in Kenya,’ the letter states.
“Excessive use of force by the law enforcement officers, including torture, extra-judicial executions, arbitrary arrests and intimidation, is rife in virtually all police stations in Kenya,” it adds.
Mr King’ara particularly takes issue with the conduct of the police force in failing to expeditiously investigate the killings, which Police commissioner Major General Mohammed Hussein Ali repeatedly denies.
“Police officers implicated in human rights violations should face due process of the law and be held accountable for their deeds,” Mr King’ara said and added that the “trend was rapidly precipitating a state of moral negligence and ineptness in the entire police force.”
Oscar Foundation said it wrote the letter on behalf of mothers, widows , friends and relatives of the slain victims of extra-judicial execution and enforced disappearances.
Mr King’ara said he had also forwarded evidence gathered by the foundation in the course of its investigations.