Home AFRICA 25 killed, 81 missing following terror crackdown – KNCHR

25 killed, 81 missing following terror crackdown – KNCHR

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) has accused the government of extra-judicial killings and torture in the ongoing fight against terrorism.

In a report released Tuesday, KNCHR said that at least 25 people have been killed and 81 other disappeared during the operation to flush out terrorists from the country.

KNCHR vice chair George Morara said preliminary reports show massive torture of innocent persons by the security agencies with 125 cases of human rights violations being reported.

He adds that the cases of torture, illegal detentions and disappearances have gone up since the operation started.

KNCHR says that the security officials involved in the operation included the military, the Kenya Wildlife Service, border patrol and the Anti-Terror Police Unit (ATPU).

Most human rights violations, according to the report were recorded in Nairobi, Mombasa, Lamu, Tana River, Wajir, Mandera and Garissa.

The report further argues that the violations are widespread, systematic and well coordinated.

The most common violations, according to the report, include arbitrary arrests, extortion, and torture such as electric shocks, sleep deprivation and extreme heat or cold.

The report further argues that the commission faces challenges of intimidation of witnesses, their officers being threatened, as well as being denied access to information among others.

The human rights body wants to be allowed to access full information on the operation, a public apology from President Uhuru Kenyatta to survivors, families and relatives of such harassments and civic education to military to enlighten them on the different forms of torture.

It further recommends that the Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) to investigate the reported cases and the findings forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for further action.

The commission has also expressed fear that the ongoing operation to flush out suspected Al Shabaab militants from Boni Forest in Lamu will also be characterized by gross violations of human rights and now wants the government to assure the residents of their protection from security personnel and that their rights will not be violated.

The report comes barely a week after Interior Cabinet Secretary Major Gen. (Rtd.) Joseph Nkaissery officially launched the Operation Okoa Boni forest aimed at flushing Al Shabaab militia believed to have been carrying out training in the area.

Mid this year, the government launched an operation to flush out the militants from the country and offered amnesty to Al Shabaab recruits who would present themselves to the authorities.

So far, only 200 recruits hided to the call and are currently undergoing rehabilitation.


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