KNCHR condemns attacks on cops

January 18, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 18 – The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) has expressed concerns over the recent attacks on police officers.

Chairperson Florence Jaoko said on Tuesday that other than being a gross violation of human rights, the attacks made a mockery of law and order and would breed anarchy.

Speaking during a press conference, Ms Jaoko emphasised the need for understanding by both the police and the public.

"The commission\’s attention is drawn to comments by the public praising the attacks and attributing them to human rights campaigns. Police and prisons officers are mandated to maintain law and order under the umbrella of national security," she said. "Every day, law enforcement officers put their lives on the line on behalf of the rest of society."

This follows incidents in which two police officers were attacked over the past week. One officer was involved in a highway brawl with a truck driver that was captured on camera (read the story here and watch the video), while the other was shot at a pub in the city’s Majengo area.

She said that the police force should explore other ways of ensuring safety of traffic police officers in the course of their duty other than arming them.

"While this may be a short term solution, we believe this is not a suitable deterrent and may be counterproductive. Armed traffic policemen may not only be distracted from their primary duties, but may also be more vulnerable than before," she stated.

She explained that KNCHR was currently in consultations with the police to initiate a training of the police force and the public on human rights.

"The commission calls the attention of all Kenyans to the Bill of Rights which is enshrined within the Constitution. The Bill of Rights Chapter 4 protects the rights of everyone in society, law enforcement agencies included," she said.

Speaking during the event, Police Spokesman Eric Kiraithe stressed the need for a cordial relationship to exist between the police and the public.

Mr Kiraithe is calling on everyone to cooperate fully with law enforcers to ensure peace prevails.

Speaking at the KNCHR headquarters, he stated that training exercises were being undertaken to sensitise the police on provision touching on human rights within the new Constitution.

"The sense of feeling that we should be armed, trained and equipped to effectively fight with the public is a notion that we do not want to cultivate," he said.

"Be that as it may, measures are in place to ensure that police officers are able to feel secure, but we would want to bank on the law abiding public, the beneficiaries of the rule of law."

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