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Civil society defends police on extra judicial report

By Graham Kajilwa | July 24th 2016 at 15:47:55 GMT +0300

Macharia Njeru, the chairman of the Independent Policing Oversight Authority. Betty Waitherero, Convener KCC, says that the report shows that Human Rights Watch have no idea there exists the Independent Policing Oversight Authority(IPOA) that handles cases to do with terror victims. (PHOTO: FILE/ STANDARD)

A section of civil society has defended the police over cases of extra judicial killings and forced disappearance.
Bashing the recently released Human Rights Watch report that painted security agencies in bad light, the Kenya Citizens Coalition (KCC) has said the report's alienation of the Somali community and usage of isolated cases does not paint the real picture of the country's security forces.

The report had further alluded a tense relationship between security agencies and communities over marred extra judicial killings which compromised disclosure of intelligence information.

"Extremists are just a small minority and the greater majority of Muslims are actually on the front line to help police in weeding out terror individuals," said Betty Waitherero Convener KCC.

Contrary to the report that painted North Eastern as the most affected region, Waitherero said their investigations have shown NE as the most robust security friendly community.

"There is no arguing that they are rogue officers but this is just a small group. Why would HRW want to destroy a security system that has kept Kenyans safe for long? Whose interest are they advancing?" she posed.

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George Wachira from the Terror Victim Support Initiative termed the report as a threat to the police work as it has not only blacked-out victims, but also instills fear in police for being branded killers even when the situation warranted the action taken.

"We reject the campaign by HRW to legitimise and cripple Kenya's ability to fight terrorism. If they are looking out for the rights of those killed, who will look out for the rights of innocent Kenyans?" he posed.
In the report, over 45 cases were documented; 11 of victims whose bodies were discovered with 34 others being unknown even to their families.

It had also recommended the formation of a committee by President Uhuru Kenyatta to look into the cases.
"This shows HRW have no idea there exists the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) that handles such cases," said Waitherero.

Also HRW Executive Director had claimed that police officers pick up victims in plain clothes without identifying themselves and they are never seen again.

"Identities of the rogue officers and those who disappeared should be revealed to make the report logic. Otherwise, we are also afraid for our officers," she said.

missing persons extra-judicial killings Independent Policing Oversight Authority(IPOA)
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