Kenya's anti-terror police killing suspects: HRW

2014-08-18 13:09
A member of the Kenyan security forces. (File, AP)

A member of the Kenyan security forces. (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Nairobi - Kenya's internationally funded anti-terrorism police have carried out a series of killings and "enforced disappearances" following a string of attacks in the country, Human Rights Watch said on Monday.

"Kenyan counter-terrorism forces appear to be killing and disappearing people right under the noses of top government officials, major embassies, and the United Nations", said HRW's deputy Africa director Leslie Lefkow.

"This horrendous conduct does not protect Kenyans from terrorism, it simply undermines the rule of law."

The unit receives funding from the United States and Britain, HRW added, with Washington providing $19m in 2012.

HRW said it had documented evidence of "at least 10 cases of killings, 10 cases of enforced disappearances, and 11 cases of mistreatment or harassment of terrorism suspects," with strong evidence of a police involvement.

"Suspects were shot dead in public places, abducted from vehicles and courtrooms, beaten badly during arrest, detained in isolated blocks, and denied contact with their families or access to lawyers", HRW said in its report.

"Donors need to carry out their own investigations of these abuses and suspend their assistance to abusive forces, or risk being complicit in Kenya's culture of impunity", HRW added.

Several Muslim clerics have been shot dead on the coast, including radical leaders accused of backing Somalia's al-Qaeda linked al-Shabaab insurgents.

Kenya's anti-terrorism police unit (ATPU) was set up in 2003 following a bomb attack on the US embassy in Nairobi in 1998, and on an Israeli-owned hotel in Mombasa in 2002.

"The ATPU has been conducting abusive operations for years, sometimes very openly, yet the Kenyan authorities have done nothing to investigate, much less stop these crimes", HRW added.

Kenya has been hit by a series of attacks since invading Somalia in 2011 to battle the al-Shabaab, later joining an African Union force battling the Islamists.

The al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for last September's assault on Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall in which at least 67 people were killed.

Read more on:    hrw  |  al-shabaab  |  al-qaeda  |  kenya  |  security

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Graphic Designer

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Creative Sourcing
R7 000 - R9 000 Per Month

Debtors/Creditors Supervisor

Century City
Pro Placements Recruitment Agency
R10 000 - R12 000 Per Month

CSR Inbound

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
O'Brien Recruitment
R14 000 - R16 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.