, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 7 – Statistics indicate that the country has witnessed a high number of torture cases and extra-judicial killings, but many more remain undocumented.
It is fear and sensitivity of the cases, majority involving police officers, that has led majority of victims to remain silent.
- In 2015, IMLU recorded 126 cases of extra-judicial cases and forced disappearances while the number stand at 114 and it may even increase, "if Kenyans effectively start using the app to report these cases."
- Other than providing crucial information on bill of rights, a victim can press a panic button while in real danger without exposing himself to more threats
- Lately, the country has seen an upsurge in the cases of extra judicial killings and torture with several others remaining not reported due to victims fearing for their lives according to Nyatete
It is a trend that has led the Independent Medico Legal Unit (IMLU) to develop a mobile application – RIPOTI – that will boost the voice of victims of torture in any part of the country, without exposing them to the obvious threats.
The move comes after the heinous killing of lawyer Willie Kimani, once an official of IMLU, his client Josephat Mwenda and their cab driver Joseph Muiruri.
“Maybe we could have saved the three innocent lives if we had the app in operation,” the Program Officer in charge of Rehabilitation Hilda Nyatete told Capital FM News on Wednesday.
Through the app, Kenyans will now be able to report any incident of torture and related incidents using their phones.
The application, will allow Kenyans to either record audio, video or a short narration of an incident.
“We have set up the mobile application for cases of torture and extra-judicial killings,” she said. “Somebody can do a quick incident alert in cases where you are not able to write who you are, where and who are the perpetrators. We target all Kenyans since we are all unfortunately potential victims of torture.”
With advancement in technology and continued uptake of phones, Nyatete says more Kenyans are set to be reached with a positive impact expected.
“It means more people will have access to justice and will shall be able to have statistics revealing just how bad things are in the country,” she said.
The uptake of mobile services by Kenyans continued to grow during the first quarter of the 2015/16 financial year spanning July to September 2015.
According to the quarterly sector statistics report by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), at the end of the quarter, mobile penetration stood at 88.1 percent with 37.8million subscribers up from 36.1 million in the previous quarter.
Other considerable gains were recorded in the Internet/data market, which has registered 21.6 million subscriptions up from 19.9 million in the last quarter.
The number of Internet users grew to 31.9 million from 29.6 million in the previous quarter. Consequently, the portion of the Kenyan population accessing Internet services reached 74.2 per 100 inhabitants up from 69.0 per 100 inhabitants recorded in the previous quarter.