NAIROBI, Kenya, March 6 – The United Nations Special Rapporteur who recently concluded investigations into extrajudicial killings Kenya has called for an independent probe into Thursday’s killing of two human rights activists.,
Prof Phillip Alston who says he met the Oscar Foundation officials during his fact finding mission – during which they had provided him with testimony of police killings in Nairobi and Central Province – has described the killings as shocking.
"It is extremely troubling when those working to defend human rights in Kenya can be assassinated in broad daylight in the middle of Nairobi," said Prof Alston.
"This constitutes a major threat to the rule of law, regardless of who might be responsible for the killings," he added.
Prof Alston in a statement issued from New York said that it was inevitable under the circumstances that suspicion would fall on the police in relation to the killings and as a result, an independent team should probe the matter.
He said an independent team like the Scotland Yard should investigate the shooting of Kamau Kingara and John Oulu.
"Those circumstances include a statement attributed to Government spokesman Alfred Mutua publicly denouncing the Oscar Foundation for its links to the illegal Mungiki sect, and another statement attributed to Police Spokesman Eric Kiraithe that a major security operation was ‘definitely going to get’ those responsible for recent demonstrations attributable to the Mungiki," he said.
The UN Special Rapporteur carried out a fact-finding mission at the invitation of the Government from February 16-25 this year.
His preliminary statement found that killings by police were "systematic, widespread, and carefully planned." He called for the sacking of the Police Commissioner Major General Hussein Ali and the resignation of Attorney General Amos Wako.
He spoke as the police blocked a public gathering they had initially licensed to take place at Uhuru Park on Friday morning amid concern that members of the outlawed Mungiki sect and University of Nairobi students would take advantage of the meeting to cause mayhem.
The concern came from an anticipated second day of Mungiki protests calling for the resignation of the country’s police chief.
Amid the mounting tension police told the Federation of Kenya Women Lawyers (FIDA-Kenya) that a mock tribunal they had organised to highlight the plight of Internally Displaced Persons couldn’t take place.
Senior Legal Counsel at FIDA Kenya, Clarice Oganga told Capital News: "The Officer Commanding Station (OCS) was there, he explained himself, there was no force but there were a lot of policemen and they have closed the whole of Uhuru Park."
"You can’t even pass through it, so in as much as it was dialogue, it is quite clear that no activity can go on there."
The stoning to death of two people believed to be sect members in Thika on Thursday was compounded by the shooting of Mr Kingara and Mr Oulu, sparking fears of renewed protests.
On Thursday night, a student was shot at the Nairobi University campus as police who had gone to collect Mr Kangara’s body encountered hostility.
The Police Commissioner immediately ordered the arrest of the officers involved in the university shooting, terming the use of live ammunition unwarranted.