Suspects are considered criminals even when they have committed no crime, says disablity sensitivity trainer
By Rosa Agutu
| May 22nd 2021
Jaki Mathaga from Authors Dream Autism Trust Foundation says suspects with intellectual disability need to be assessed for the ability to stand trial as intellectual disability is not the same illness.
“The justice system may need to adjust the language and be patient to ensure the information has been understood” including clarity so that they don’t mistake admission of guilty as conditions for reduced sentences or “make the police go away.”
They end up at Mathari due to biased and bad practice and Jaki says there is need for access to a diagnosis, an interpreter and family support to ensure the person is not feeling stressed.
Suspects have rights under Article 49 (1) of the Constitution which provides that they be informed promptly, in a language that they understand the reason for the arrest; their right to remain silent; consequences of not doing so and that they should not be compelled to make any confession or admission that could be used against them.
Jaki explains that most suspects ”are considered criminals even when there is no crime, they are also considered a danger to themselves and others even when there is no history of violence. The bias goes to show the discriminant practice. A “normal” person would be fined for that petty offence but a person with intellectual disability will be held onto it.”
Murang'a MP Sabina Chege chairs the National Assembly Health Committee and laments that “once they are taken to Mathari, the prisons leave them there saying they don’t own them anymore, and Mathari says that these are people from the prisons.”
This happens Parliament calling for the improvement of the congestion at Mathari two years ago. Abraham Musili filed a constitutional petition challenging the continuous detention of persons with psychosocial disabilities under presidential pleasure (now unconstitutional). However, it has stalled due to Covid-19.
Kibaki Cabinets: Wamalwa the unapologetic AnglophileWhen tears flowed freely, many appreciated how much Kibaki valued his departed Vice President, the affable Michael Wamalwa Kijana.
Opening Ceremony: Kenya takes her pride of place as 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games beginTeam Kenya Paralympics strolled majestically into the Tokyo Olympic Stadium led by captain Rodgers Kiprop and Powerlifter Hellen Wawira for the Openin
Uhuru to open historic park on Jamhuri Day
- Maranda High School dormitory on fire again
By Isiah Gwengi
- Glowing tributes for tycoon Kibe as a visionary, mentor
- Pastor Ng’ang’a’s TV station banned from live broadcast
By Betty Njeru
- ODM candidates in Mount Kenya upbeat as support for Raila soars
- Former PS buried in private ceremony two days after death