In pursuit of our mandate to promote and preserve human rights as provided in the 2010 Constitution Bill of Rights, Amnesty International Kenya has worked to fight for human dignity, the right to security of the person, freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and the right to life.
Since 2007, our partner, the Missing Voices Coalition (Missing Voices) has verified and documented 1264 cases of police-linked executions and 237 enforced disappearances. In 2021, 219 People were killed or disappeared by police. Out of 219, 187 were due to police killings, and 32 disappeared in police custody. So far, in 2022, we have recorded 112 killings between January and October.
Your Excellency, we, university students and youth of this great republic, laud your recent denunciation of EJEs and EDs perpetrated by criminal elements within the National Police Service (NPS). We also note the dissolution of the Special Services Unit (SSU) of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) for acting outside the bounds of the law including EJEs and EDs.
We, as students, youths, and the future of this great republic, are mindful of the plight of those who have been murdered or disappeared by law enforcement. As students, we recall the killings of Meru University Student Leader Evans Njoroge (Kidero); Leeds University Student Carilton Maina on 21 December 2018, and the Kianjakoma Brothers (Benson Njiru and Emanuel Mutura) on 1 August 2021.
We also recall the killings in 2017 of 6-month-old Samantha Pendo, and 9-year-old Stephanie Moraa Gisemba and the 2020 killing of 13-year-old Yassin Moyo during the Covid-19 enforcement.
The fact that some of these cases are taking too long in the criminal justice system while others have yet to be charged despite inquest reports asking for it is very concerning to us.
Your Excellency, in reference to your authority under Article 131 as the Head of State and Government and duty to ensure the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, we humbly ask you to ensure that:
1. Those who work for the National Police Service (NPS) adhere to the law. An officer who violates the law must be investigated, prosecuted, punished, and removed from service.
2. The right to a fair trial and fair administration of justice is guaranteed to every Kenyan, including suspected criminals. NPS officers and formations cannot act as investigators, judges, juries, or executioners.
3. To make our country safer, comprehensive criminal justice reforms must be undertaken to ensure that investigations, prosecutions, adjudications, and corrections are efficient.
4. It is imperative that cases of EJEs be fast-tracked in order to ensure justice for the victims, their families, and their survivors.
5. In cases of suspicious deaths, the National Coroners Service Act is operationalised to enhance the collection, preservation, and analysis of forensic evidence.
6. To uncover the historical roots of the EJEs and EDs phenomenon, the perpetrators, the victims, and how to end it, a Judicial Commission of Inquiry is formed.
7. EJEs and EDs are investigated independently by the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) and those responsible are prosecuted.
8. NPSC implements a zero-tolerance approach to criminality within the National Police Service (NPS). Criminally culpable police officers must be removed from service.
9. Members of the NPS should be inculcated with individual and command responsibility through legislative measures.
10. In Nairobi, the purge of criminal elements in the SSU should extend to Pangani Police Station. In this station, there have been many documented EJEs, EDs, abductions, tortures, and unlawful uses of force.
11. Support, compensation, and restitution for victims of police violence should be provided through the operationalisation of the Victims Protection Fund. An apology should also be extended to victims and survivors.