, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 2 – Security forces have been urged to safeguard the rights of citizens and protect life by showing maximum restraint in interactions with the public.
Outgoing US Ambassador Robert Godec says to ensure police don’t infringe on people’s rights, complaints should be thoroughly and independently investigated and those found culpable brought to book.
“Human rights abuses, to include by the police, occur in all countries, including the United States. What is important is that when there is a report of police abuse, it be thoroughly and independently investigated.
And when law enforcement officers, and as appropriate even superiors, have perpetrated a crime, they should face justice,” he said.
The Ambassador was speaking at an event organized by the Independent Police Oversight Authority to launch “IPOAcloud CONNECT,” a complaint management system funded by the U.S. to the tune of Sh650 million.
The Ambassador says IPOA’s mandate to investigate allegations of abuses at the hands of police was of particular significance during the recent elections but it is even more critical now when Kenya is confronted daily by unexplained killings, police abuse, and corruption.
He noted that even though IPOA is still young, it has proven itself able to investigate allegations of police using excessive force and bring cases to court when appropriate.
“Kenya is up to the challenge of holding security services to account; of being self-critical and looking at its problems in order to fix them. The very existence of IPOA is emblematic of the profound social change that Kenya is undergoing, the values enshrined in its Constitution, and the culture of accountability and integrity that Kenya is striving to adopt,” the Ambassador said.
Ambassador Godec also thanked the police for protecting citizens and stressed the majority are carrying out their duties with courage and professionalism.
“Security is essential for every society’s prosperity and quality of life. We all need the police. The security services protect us from crime, terrorism, and other dangers that threaten us,” he pointed out.