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At least 80 people missing in Kenya's Coast, a human rights group demands answers

Friday August 31, 2018

At least 80 people have mysteriously disappeared or died in the hands of police in the Coast and North Eastern regions since 2015, a human rights group claimed on Thursday.

MUHURI executive director Hassan Abdille said this during the World International Day of Enforced Disappearance.

"The situation is deteriorating, confidence in the police is fading and families' hopes of reunion dying," Abdille said.

He demanded the 80 be produced in court.

The organisation has been demanding due process to be followed when dealing with individuals suspected to be terrorists or sympathizers of terror groups.

“Blatant enforced disappearance only contribute towards more radicalization and does not curb violent extremism,” he said.

This comes just two days after President Uhuru Kenyatta and his US counterpart Donald Trump pledged to step up the war on terror.

Kenyan soldiers are fighting Al-Shabaab in Somalia, a decision security experts said exposed the former to frequent attacks from the group that thrives in mass killings and propaganda.
“We hold that enforced disappearance is a tactic used by governments to spread terror within society,” Abdille said on Thursday.

“This archaic practice was previously restricted to military authoritarian leadership” Abdile noted, adding, “it is now being used in complex situations of internal conflicts especially as a means of political repression of opponents in undemocratic regimes around the world”.

In Coast, Abdille said Tana River, Garissa, Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi and Lamu, have in the recent past experienced grave terror-related security challenges.

“Apparently, these counties under the counter-terrorism approaches have experienced disappearances and in the last two years at least 80 people having been reported to be arrested by people claiming to be security agencies and are missing to date,” he said.

“These hard approaches are detrimental and have continued to bolster terrorism in Kenya,” he said.

MUHURI demanded adherence and respect of the rule of law and universal human rights in the government’s fight against insecurity and violent extremism.


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