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Police blamed for gunning down innocent people before trial

Police in Kenya has been blamed for killing innocent people without giving them a chance to be tried.

A report from the Human Rights Watch (HRC) says police have executed at least 21 men and boys since August 2018 in Nairobi’s Dandora and Mathare slums whom they alleged were criminals.

“Police are arresting unarmed people and then gunning them down, and neither the police service nor its watchdog agency is doing much to stop it,” said Otsieno Namwaya, Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch.

According to the watchdog, a businessman who is also a police informer told them that the police have a list of people they plan to kill, including petty thieves, and in a few cases, men and women who have had disagreements with individual police officers.

HRW reports that in April, police shot seven men in Mathare claiming that they were involved in crime, without justification for using lethal force. The men are said to have been unarmed and did not resist arrest by the police.

According to family members, police shot Kevin Gitau 25 who was due to travel out of the country for job placement in the Middle East. Six men were also shot in the Milango Kubwa area.

“The authorities should promptly investigate these cases and hold to account any police officer responsible for unlawful use of force,” Otsieno said.

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