Investigate extrajudicial killings, disappearances says UN official
A senior official at the United Nations Human Rights office has called for the investigations in extrajuducial executions and enforced disappearances which she said remain prevalent despite ongoing reforms. Speaking during a two-day consultative rights fraternity, Dr Marcella Favretto, a senior human rights advisor at the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) called on authorities to take steps in ensuring perpetrators of human rights violations are brought to book. ”Over the years serious concerns about extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances have featured prominently in UN communications to the government of Kenya all pointing to the urgency of effective prevention, accountability and remedies,” she said. ”Relatives have a right, as victims themselves, to know the truth about the circumstances of any enforced disappearances, the whereabouts of their loved ones, the progress and results of the investigation and ultimately the fate of the disappeared person. Relatives or other individuals who speak out on violations should be protected against and reprisals” the advisor added.
Marcella noted that many victims of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances are yet to get justice due to lack of goodwill, victimization of both witnesses and victims and shoddy investigations. While she praised the ongoing reforms in the security sector, Dr Marcella maintained that they should be anchored on respect of human rights as enshrined in the constitution and international treaties. She further called on investigating bodies including the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) to effectively investigate all allegations of extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances. ”Kenya is not short of institutions and laws to prevent abuse in the context of security operations and end impunity.” Dr Marcella further observed.
The consultative forum on Extrajudicial Executions and Enforced Disappearances in East Africa was organized by the Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU) in partnership with the United Nations office of the High Commissioner-Kenya.\
In its submission, IMLU called for a commission of inquiry on extrajudicial killings as well as the introduction of accountability mechanism for specialized units operating under the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU).