Cases of police brutality doubled in the last year - IMLU

Azimio supporters take part in a candle-lighting activity at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kisumu in solidarity with victims of police brutality. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

Cases of police brutality that includes; extrajudicial execution and forced disappearance by police officers in the country have doubled this year, according to the latest report by the Independent Medico-Legal Unit(IMLU).

Addressing the media on Thursday, September 14, IMLU Director Peter Kiama said that the country has recorded 250 more cases compared to 232 cases recorded in 2022.

“In the past year we have witnessed a wave of punitive policing during protests, extrajudicial killings, deaths in custody, deliberate torture of children, interference with investigative authorities and the constitution bringing the total cases recorded to 482,” said Kiama.

According to the report, 351 of the cases were victims of torture and degrading treatment by police officers, 128 were extrajudicial executions and three were forced disappearances.

Out of the 482 cases recorded, 415 were male while 67 were female.

Further, the majority of the victims were young male adults between the ages of 18 to 35 years who recorded 317 cases.

Adults between the age of 36 to 65 were 121 while children under the age of 18 were 44.

According to the lobby group, the numbers speak against President William Ruto’s promise that his government will bring to an end extrajudicial killings by police officers.

The group is now demanding a review of police reforms and laws surrounding the protection of Kenyans, especially the youth.

“The President’s efforts to address police abuse and protect urban youths have fallen short as evidenced by the increase in these cases,” said Kiama.

“This situation calls for a critical reevaluation of strategies put in place to fulfill the promises made regarding police reforms and protection of Kenyans,” he added.