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US: Investigate Kenya police human rights record

15 September 2014, 23:02

Nairobi - Kenya has been urged to investigate fully allegations of Kenyan police involvement in human rights abuses. 

Speaking during the launch of the Independent Policing Oversight Authority {IPOA} Strategic Plan, US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec said Kenya should take rights abuses allegations seriously and find a way to fix them.

“The very existence of IPOA is a mark of the change that Kenya is undergoing; it represents the values enshrined in its constitution, and embodies the culture of accountability, respect for human rights, and integrity that Kenya is working to usher in,” Godec said.

Also read: UK hands kits to fight terror in Kenya airports

Godec added that majority of police do their job well with courage, commitment, and integrity saying undisciplined behavior including harassment, extortion, and the excessive use of force have no place in policing in Kenya, or anywhere.

“They only contribute to violence – they don’t stop or reduce it.  In the fight against terrorism, in particular, such illegal actions can aid the terrorists in their efforts to recruit new members.  It is essential that the police win the trust of the community,” he said.

On this note, Godec promised US support to IPOA saying it exists as a safeguard against police misconduct and to advance and strengthen respect for human rights in efforts to end impunity in Kenya and make the National Police Service even stronger than it already is.

He said the US has been deeply engaged in developing accountability in the Kenyan police services, and specifically in supporting the establishment of IPOA, adding that the US has supported technical experts who have helped IPOA hone its mandate and develop its operating procedures.

“Also through technical advice, we have helped set up IPOA’s investigations unit and have trained its officers on crime scene management.  We have also donated forensic equipment to IPOA’s investigative unit so its investigators can have the necessary tools to look into the complaints they receive about alleged police misconduct,” he concluded. The headline: Government asked to investigate human rights abuses

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