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Small scale traders prone to torture in Nairobi

Those within the CBD top the list followed closely by those operating in Ngara area/FILE

Those within the CBD top the list followed closely by those operating in Ngara area/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 10 – Small scale traders in Nairobi are the most vulnerable to torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment from city council askaris, according to a survey by the Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU).

Those operating within the Central Business District top the list followed closely by those operating in Ngara area.

Speaking during the launch of the survey on Wednesday, the human rights organisation moderator Morris Odhiambo called on the county government to eliminate corruption as a way of curbing the trend.

He said the county already has enough laws that only require full implementation.

“The concept of justice is alien in the interaction between hawkers, small scale business operators and city authorities,” he said.

The organisation has also called on the city leadership to designate specific areas from where the traders can operate.

The survey recommends a multi agency approach (including the national government, Nairobi city county government and civil society organisations) to solve conflicts that lead to the high incidences of torture.

“There is also need to formulate national laws to protect the rights and interests of hawkers and small scale business operators,” reads the report.

It further recommends that the city government investigates crimes about illegal gun possession of the city askaris and, “clarify to stakeholders what weapons the askaris are entitled to carry.”

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On the side of the national government, the report proposes that it formulate a national law making it illegal for the city askaris to carry crude weapons.

The organisation also led its members in celebrating the survivors of torture during the International Human Rights Day.

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