A leading rights group has accused Kenya’s security agencies of abductions and extra-judicial killings of people suspected of links with militant Islamist group al-Shabab.
In a report entitled “Death and Disappearances”, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said it had documented the forced disappearance of at least 34 people in counter-terrorism operations over the last two years and the deaths of 11.
In a report, it added:
Concern for the well-being of the 34 people is compounded by at least 11 cases in the past two years in which dead bodies of people previously arrested by state agents have been found, in some instances far from the location of their arrest. ”
The government has not yet commented on the report.
HRW said those arbitrarily arrested during the security sweeps included young ethnic Somali Kenyans, Imams, and Islamic school teachers.
They were detained, at least initially, in military bases and makeshift military camps in forests in the north-east and other parts of the country.
HRW executive director Kenneth Roth added:
People in north-eastern Kenya deserve protection from al-Shabab attacks, not further abuse from the authorities.
Rounding people up and refusing to disclose their whereabouts is a serious crime and only compounds fears and mistrust in the security forces.”