Human rights groups held peaceful demonstrations in various towns across the country, protesting increased cases of extrajudicial executions, following a recent incident where International Justice Mission lawyer Willie Kimani, his client Josephat Mwenda and their taxi driver Joseph Muiruri were found dead after missing for a week.
The brutal murder has been pointed to the police after they were last seen at the Syokimau Police Post in Machakos County. The case involved a senio Administration Police officer at the Station, who had reportedly threatened the complainant (Mwenda) on various occasions, from proceeding with the case against him.
In Nairobi, lawyers, activists and the civil society assembled at the Freedom Corner at Uhuru Park, and started their peaceful protests heading towards the office of the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet and Interior and Coordination Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery.
Carrying placards with ‘Stop Extrajudicial Killings’ messages, they demanded immediate resignation of Nkaissery, Boinnet and the Head of Administration Police Samuel Arachi for allegedly failing to bring reforms in the police sector.
“Extrajudicial killings have been rampant in Kenya, with suspected police officers going scots-free,” human rights activist Yash Pal Ghai said.
They dropped petitions at the office of the president at Harambee House and at the police headquarters at Vigilance House along Harambee Avenue.
Some of the human rights groups present in the demonstrations include the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), International Justice Mission (IJM), International Commission for Justice (ICJ), the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), Amnesty International Kenya, Transparency International Kenya among others.
Similar protests were witnessed in Machakos County, where lawyers dropped condolence books obtaining names of the three victims at Syokimau Police Station and Mavoko Law Courts, where they attended a hearing before they were abducted.
Human rights activists in Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Kakamega, Busia, Marsabit, Moyale, Mandera, Wajir, Garissa and Nyeri also conducting peaceful protests, demanding resignation of top government security leadership, in solidarity with Kimani, Mwenda, Muiruri and other victims of extrajudicial killings.
Amnesty International Kenya says at least 53 Kenyans have been victims of extrajudicial killings since 2014.