UN set to probe Kenya s extra judicial killings

February 14, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 14 – The UN Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial executions is expected in Kenya on Sunday on a mission to establish the extent of reports of increased arbitrary killings by law enforcers.

Philip Alston will undertake a 10 day visit at the invitation of the Kenya government.

"He is scheduled to hold meetings with Government officials at both the federal and provincial levels and with members of the legislature," a statement from his office said.

The rapporteur is interested in alleged extra-judicial killings during the post-election violence period.

He will also be probing reports of similar executions by police and military personnel in the Mt Elgon region in early 2007 when an operation to end attacks by a militia group the Sabaot Land Defence Force began and in an ongoing campaign against the Mungiki terror group launched in 2006.

Mr Alston’s visit will also include meetings with human rights officials and witnesses to killings, Non-Governmental Organisations, academics and other civil society.

His responsibilities include reporting on alleged killings and the underlying causes that might have prevented effective legal action to prosecute and punish those responsible.

Based on the information obtained during the visit, the Special Rapporteur will present a report containing his conclusions and recommendations, to a forthcoming session of the UN’s Human Rights Council.

Alston will visit Nairobi, the Rift Valley, Central, Western and Nyanza provinces.

The Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions will hold a press conference a day before the end of his tour at the United Nations Office in Nairobi.

Philip Alston was appointed Special Rapporteur in 2004 by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

As Special Rapporteur, he is independent from any government and serves in his individual capacity.

Extra judicial killings have worried many Kenyans who through their Members of Parliament have demanded to know the fate of thousands of loved ones who in a fearsome coincidence were last seen in police custody before their bodies resurfaced at a morgue, or sometimes, not at all.

The most severe indictment of the police force came in the Justice Johann Kreigler report that looked at all aspects of the disputed 2007 General Election. It ruled that the police were guilty of illegal killings and the force must undergo urgent reforms.

Justice Minister Martha Karua has also censured the force accusing them of acting as prosecutor, judge and jury, killing suspects instead of sending them to court to stand trial.



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