NAIROBI — Kenya National Commission on Human Rights has accused the country’s security agencies of killing more than 30 people following the August 8 elections.
The government-funded rights group published a report Monday titled “Mirage at Dusk,” which documents human rights violations.
According to the commission, 34 people, including a six-month-old baby, were killed by police during the three days of chaos. Another three people were killed in clashes between civilians.
Commission on Human Rights member Jadidah Waruhiu said the protests were triggered by the electoral commission’s announcement that incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta had defeated opposition leader Raila Odinga. He said there was an “uproar in some of the areas in the country to protest that declaration.”
“And we had protests in Nairobi, especially in the informal settlement areas like Mathare, Dandora, Kibera, among others, we had protests in Kisumu,” he said. “Unfortunately, in the protest and the days after that, we had many Kenyans injured, and we also had a number of deaths, as in our record to date we have 37 Kenyans who lost their lives because of the skirmishes.”
Interior Ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka disagreed with the commission’s findings. He said the deaths that “could be directly connected to the riots were less than 10.”
But for the Kenya National Commission on Human rights to come out and say that 37 people were killed by police, its a highly exaggerated report,” he added. “But they should have also provided names and places of these people and specific information showing when and where they died and the cause of death.”
Waruhiu said the number could be more because many people are afraid to speak out about police abuses.
“Each case is verified by us in terms of us going down, taking the individual statement of those injured or from the family members of the deceased,” he said. “So the cases we have are really verified. We had more reported than those but a number we could not verify. And I do not also think we have all the reports because there was a lot of fear of intimidation thereafter.”
Tensions are still running high in Kenya as the country prepares for a re-run of the presidential election.The Supreme Court nullified the results of the August 8 vote, citing irregularities on the part of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
The new election is scheduled for October 26.
– Mohammed Yusuf I VOA