19 EU missions want Alston report implemented

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By Lucianne Limo

The European Union (EU) has come out in support of a damning report by the UN special rapporteur’s on extrajudicial killings, Philip Alston and called for its full implementation.

The 19 heads of missions said they were concerned by the government’s dismissive response to reports of human rights abuses in the country.

“We strongly urge the Coalition leadership to show it has considered the report seriously and is taking action to condemn, investigate and punish all unlawful killings, including by the security forces,” the missions said in a joint statement on Thursday.

The government, they said, should put in place improved mechanisms of accountability to ensure such killings are not repeated.

The EU spoke a day after the Government softened its hardline stance on the report, which they had initially rubbished. The government accepted Alston’s verdict before 11th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.

The EU stressed the need for “urgent comprehensive reforms in the police force and the judiciary” as highlighted in Alston’s report.

They noted that recent polls showed that the majority of Kenyans had lost faith in the police and the courts.

Prof. Philip Alston

“Only major changes to these institutions to improve their accountability, integrity and professionalism will regain the confidence of Kenyans and restore Kenya’s international reputation as a country of the rule of law,” said the statement.

In his final report, Prof Alston called for the sacking of Attorney-General Amos Wako and Police Commissioner Maj-General Hussein Ali.

He accused top police officials of running death squads and describes Kenyan courts as “slow and corrupt”.

The report concludes that comprehensive police reforms should be instituted since Kenya’s is a dysfunctional criminal justice system that has pushed police to kill suspected criminals, rather than arrest them.

The heads of missions further asked the government to show leadership by urgently establishing the special tribunal to prosecute individuals who were involved in the post-election violence.

“The culture of impunity casts a shadow over Kenya’s future stability and needs addressing urgently,” they said.

The EU expressed their concern over lack of functioning witness protection programme while noting numerous reports of threats against human rights activists and witnesses related to cases of unlawful killing.

EU said: We urge the authorities to protect the legitimate rights of individuals and groups to promote and strive for protection of and realisation of human rights in accordance with international standards.

They, however, clarified that they do not support activities of illegal groups like Mungiki.

The EU threw its weight behind Alston’s recommendation that independent inquiries be established into the alleged operation of police death squads and into the abuses in Mt Elgon.

We confirm our willingness to support international involvement in those inquiries,” added the EU.

 

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