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Kasarani detainees claim torture by anti-terror police

20 August 2014, 09:25 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - Detainees at the Kasarani Stadium detention camp were tortured by Anti-terror police, some of those released have stated.

The camp has previously been criticized by Human Rights Organizations as well as the civil society and the opposition CORD coalition over its existence.

In reply, the government stated severally that the camp was set up in line with the law and that everything that goes on there is above board.

But in investigations by News24, who spoke to a number of former detainees, they were tortured by police who sought information over terror related activities in the country.

" I was beaten badly by police when I was arrested in Eastleigh where I had gone for shopping, one former detainee says, asking his name be withheld for purposes of his safety.

" I did not have my ID and even when they took me to Kasarani and my wife brought my documents, they insisted that they were fake and continued to beat me up, trying to force me to say that I am not in the country legally, he added.

He says that he met others who were also brutally beaten by police in the course of investigations.

" We were many who were beaten and some were even bludgeoned in their private parts, he added.

Another former detainee, who recently returned to the country from Ethiopia where he traveled to in hiding after also being unfairly arrested by police also recalled the beating he received while in police custody.

" They were ruthless. They did not hesitate to beat anyone up. It is like they had orders to get information in whatever way possible, he said.

He recalls one whose arm was broken after being jumped on by three policemen.

"They broke his arm while I saw and then they descended on me for looking at others being beaten, he added.

" There was no bias for age, they simply beat up whoever they thought warranted a beating, he added.

International Organizations recently suggested that there is strong evidence that the Kenya Anti-Terror Police Unit has carried out a series of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances.

Human Rights Watch said that research conducted between November and June documented at least 10 cases of unlawful killings and 10 cases of enforced disappearances carried out by the anti-terror police. The rights group said it also documented 11 cases of mistreatment and harassment of terrorism suspects.

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 and access to lawyers, said the report.

The counter-terrorism police unit receives significant support and training from the United States and the United Kingdom.

The government has repeatedly denied such accusations and has not yet replied to the latest case reported by HRW.

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