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Human Rights Organizations Release Statement On Tharaka-Nithi County Murders

Last week, the country was shocked by the death of police officers, a chief and their informers at the hands of irate Kamaindi area of Tharaka-Nithi County.

Today, human rights organizations led by the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) released the statement condemning the killing of the security officers and also calling on police to respect human rights while conducting investigations.

‘… we call upon security personnel involved in the operations to work within the confines of the law and with respect to the 6th Schedule of the National Police Service Act 2011 on the use of force’, the statement said in part.

Below statement in full text by the Police Reforms Working Group – Kenya

VIOLENCE METED ON SECURITY OFFICERS IN THARAKA NITHI INEXCUSABLE

The Police Reforms Working Group-Kenya would like to strongly condemn the gruesome murders of Kamaindi Location Chief Japheph Mayau Mukengu and the Chuka Officer in Charge of Police Station Mr Joshua Kinyua.

According to media reports, Chief Mayau was hacked to death by angry locals from Kamaindi who allegedly accused him of killing his neighbor in 2018, detaining goats of a local after they had grazed on his farm and diverting water from the drying River Thuci to their land at the expense of those living downstream.

OCS Kinyua was in the company of twelve other police officers and had gone to effect the arrests of one of the suspects who they had traced at Ugweri trading center in Embu.

The suspect raised an alarm attracting a crowd, forcing the police to shoot in the air.

As the police dispersed the crowd, the suspect hacked Kinyua, who later succumbed to his injuries.

We call upon the National Police Service (NPS) and specifically the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), including the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) to investigate the incident that also saw an alleged shooting to death of a resident by the police.

We acknowledge the swift response and action of the Government to deploy more security officers assist with maintaining law and order as these unfortunate incidents being investigated.

In doing so, we call upon security personnel involved in the operations to work within the confines of the law and with respect to the 6th Schedule of the National Police Service Act 2011 on the use of force.

We strongly differ with the views of the Eastern Regional Commander Ms Eunice Kihiko who has allegedly condemned the entire community.

We caution that her remarks may lead to collective punishment and unwarranted use of excessive force by the Police.

No matter the justification, there should be other avenues of conflict resolution instead of attacking chiefs or police officers.

There should be effective complaints and redress mechanisms that aggrieved civilians can use to channel their grievances and seek justice whenever they feel wronged by government officers and the police.

We call on the locals in Kamaindi to cooperate with and share any relevant information with security personnel investigating these unfortunate incidents.
ENDS

Signed by:

  1. Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU)
  2. Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC)
  3. International Centre for Transitional Justice (ICTJ-K)
  4. International Commission of Jurists —Kenya (ICJ-K)
  5. Legal Resources Foundation (LRF)
  6. International Jurists Mission (IJM)
  7. Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR)
  8. Rights Promotion and Protection Centre (RPP)
  9. Federation of Women Lawyers in Kenya (FIDA-K)
  10. Coalition on Violence against Women (COVAW)
  11. National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (NCHRD)
  12. Kenyans For Peace, Truth and Justice (KPTJ)
  13. Usalama Reforms
  14. Amnesty International — Kenya
  15. Transparency International – Kenya
  16. Katiba Institute (KI)
  17. Peace Brigade International (PBI)
  18. Usalama Reforms
  19. The Institute for Social Accountability (TISA)


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