A new report named Insult to Injury launched by Human Rights Watch and Kenya Human Rights Commission KNHRC has recommended security officers who violated human rights laws during counter terrorism operations be investigated.
The report brings about claims of religious discrimination and torture of suspects by security organs.
‘Many human rights operations were violated. Respondents have reported cases where suspects were beaten and mistreated. Suspects were placed in unsanitary camps during questioning and were subjected to heavy beating. There have been cases of extra judicial killings,’ says KNHRC project advisor Lillian Kantai.
‘The first recommendation of the report is for government to admit gravity and scopes of the abuses. They need to admit these abuses have been going on,’ says Maria Burnett Senior Researcher for Human Rights Watch.
Findings of the report further state that security organs take long to respond in case of attacks.
It states that during 5 weeks between mid June through July 2014 armed gunmen who in most cases claimed to be part of Somalia based armed Islamist group Al Shabaab attacked a passenger bus and at least 8 villages in the Kenyan coastal counties of Lamu and Tana River.
87 people were killed including four security officers and destroyed approximately 30 buildings and 50 vehicles.
‘Kenyan security forces were slow to respond to attacks leaving villages unprotected and when they eventually responded, their action were often discriminatory, beating, arbitrarily detaining and stealing personal property of Muslim and Ethnic Somali communities in the two counties, ‘explains the report.
‘We need to hear situations whereby choppers are sent to areas of emergency,’ says Kantai.