Kenya rights activist killings must be investigated: UN special rapporteur

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions [official website] Philip Alston on Friday called for an independent investigation into the Thursday killings of Kenyan human rights activists Oscar Kamau Kingara [advocacy profile] and John Paul Oulu. The two men were officers for the Oscar Foundation [advocacy website], a group critical of the Kenyan government for its use of extra-judicial killings, and were killed in Nairobi [BBC report] following student protests against police. Earlier in the day, a government official had accused [Standard report] the Oscar Foundation of fundraising for the Mungiki [BBC backgrounder] religious group, which has been banned in the country. Alston also called for the resignation [Daily Nation report] of Police Commissioner Hussein Ali and Attorney General Amos Wako in light of the killings, but Ali rebuked Alston's call and said that the police were capable of investigating the murders without a special investigation.

In February, Alston issued a report [text] on extra-judicial killings in Kenya in which he said that killings by the police in the country were "systematic, widespread and carefully planned," and that they were committed with "utter impunity." During his trip to the country, Alston met with Kingara, and the Oscar Foundation in 2007 issued its own report [text, JURIST report] claiming that police had killed more than 8,000 for their alleged connections to the Mungiki group.

 

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