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Missing Voices, a consortium of civil society organizations dedicated to end extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in Kenya documented 30 cases of police killings that they claimed are reportedly associated with Pangani Police Station in 2021 alone.
“In 2021, every month, with the exception of June, officers from Pangani are accused of murder. For the last three years, during which Missing Voices has actively tracked the data, police have killed more than 500 people,” the new report from Missing Voices revealed. In the report, the Civil Society organizations indicated that they documented 219 cases of police killings and enforced disappearances in 2021. “Out of these, 187 cases were of police killings, and 32 of enforced disappearances,” they said.
In 2019, the group documented 145 cases of police killings adding that 168 people were killed or disappeared in police custody in 2020. In recent years, the Pangani cops have been on a coalition course with rights organizations and a section of Kenyans for summary execution of suspects within the city as the war against crime intensifies. While those involved have appeared to justify their actions as aimed at curbing crime, the rights groups have taken issue with their approach for failing to give the suspects a day in court to answer to their alleged crimes.
Just last month, the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) launched investigations into an alleged shooting of two suspected criminals in Nairobi’s Pangani area. The incident led to a public uproar after a viral amateur video recorded from an adjacent building emerged showing the suspected gangsters lying on the ground before being executed at close range by individuals believed to be part of the dreaded Pangani 6 detectives.
The two men are said to have been killed after allegedly robbing a woman of her phone. However, while defending the shooting, the National Police Service said in a statement that the two suspects were cornered by detectives as they fled on a motorbike after a chase along Thika Superhighway. “The suspects, who had robbed a woman at gunpoint at Pangani area defied orders to surrender and instead, fired at police officers who promptly engaged them in self-defense.
As a result, the two suspects were fatally injured,” police said. Police said that Crime Scene personnel retrieved one black revolver with six rounds of ammunition. One brown knife and four smart phones were also recovered from the scene.
To address police killings, the rights groups proposed the enactment of a law on enforced disappearances or the amending of existing legislation to criminalize enforced disappearances. “The law should include recourse and reparations for victims and their families. 2. Ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT),” Missing Voices said.
They further called on the government to allocate sufficient budget to the Witness Protection Agency to adequately protect witnesses and families of persons who have been forcefully disappeared. They urged the prosecuting agencies to expedite cases on police killings and enforced disappearances in court and work with the judiciary to provide a realistic timeline for when they will be resolved.
Pangani Police Station on the spot again over alleged extrajudicial killings Thank You