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Alston says Kenya must act on report

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 23 – The Special United Nations Rapporteur for Human Rights Professor Philip Alston on Monday said that he has gathered a lot of evidence on extra-judicial killings and hopes the government will implement his recommendations.

Professor Alston said he has held meetings with various human rights organisations, torture survivors and affected families who have provided him with ‘very crucial evidence.’

“I am now seeking assurance from the government on the implementation plan as I prepare my final report to be handed over this Wednesday,” he said when he called on the Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Prof Alston told journalists he was scheduled to meet other senior government officials, including the Attorney General Amos Wako, for assurance on implementation.

“I expect the government to take the report seriously and implement its recommendations once I present it to them,” he added.

Professor Alston is in the country at the invitation of the government to document evidence on various cases of extra judicial killings and advise the State on the best implementation plan.

“The government will be the principal addressees of my report. I expect action on it,” he said.

During his stay in the country, the celebrated human rights defender has visited various regions that were worst hit by the poll violence, and has met victims and witnesses of the atrocities.

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The tour has taken him to Kisumu, Eldoret and parts of Central Province.

On Sunday, Professor Alston and his team spent hours at the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) headquarters at CVS Plaza, where he met more than 200 relatives of nearly 1,000 youth whom they claim were executed by police on suspicion of being Mungiki sect members.

The family members, mainly widows, alleged that their kin were executed by the Kwekwe squad, an anti-Mungiki police unit which the government claims was disbanded.

Njuguna Gitau, the spokesman of a political party affiliated to the outlawed Mungiki movement, said that they had presented cases of several people who were reported missing and later found murdered.

“The number could be much higher but we are presenting the ones we have strong evidence on,” he told reporters at the KNCHR headquarters.

“We just hope action will be taken this time,” he told Capital News on Monday.

The Prime Minister said that he had very useful discussions with the Rapporteur, and reiterated his commitment to the rule of law, saying he had spoken very strongly against extra-judicial killings and violence against innocent people.

He said he expected the police to use limited force to apprehend offenders and arraign them in court.

Said the Premier: “For good governance to prevail in this country, we must respect the rule of law. Citizens must respect the law as well as government.”

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