The scourge of extrajudicial killings in Kenya: a perfect testament to impunity

Juliani, who is a Kenyan musician, produced a masterpiece in 2017 titled ‘Machozi ya Jana’.1 Juliani did launch the song in memory of International Justice Mission Lawyer Willie Kimani, his client Josephat Mwenda and taxi driver Joseph Muiruri who were murdered in 2016. The song according to International Justice Mission was aimed to re-ignite and expand public debate on the need to have a radically transformed police service in Kenya. The song as well was meant to inspire a powerful movement that generates police reforms.

Unto an array of folks when the song was released, they noted that once again Juliani had lived up to his reputation with the hit song. For, after all, Juliani as of then had made a name for himself for his punch line songs that did advocate for social justice and good governance.2 Here is a snippet of the song translated from Kiswahili to English:

First stanza

There is pain on the left side of my chest

Please pass more boxes of handkerchief

Tears turned the soil to mud where you all now rest

This isn’t a Whatsapp group, where you can return when you ‘left’

They cut your wings, you can’t fly again

Clouds are grey, dressed in black, eyes are red

The colors of pain

It takes a long day to know that life is short

Life has no remote control, you can’t fast-forward or rewind a happier episode. Yesterday’s tears won’t go sour We will wipe them with the joy of justice


Humans have long devoted effort and attention to the making and consuming of art that portrays and conveys

(They took you away We no longer have you Rest…Rest in peace)*2 We will meet again Machozi ya jana misery.

The ancient Greeks3 were known for staging tragedies that were widely popular; to this day, films and novels that deal with heartache and despair become bestsellers and garner critical attention4. The phenomenon is seen across cultures and art forms. Classical music exhibits the phenomenon abundantly. Sadness in everyday life, however, is hardly pleasant. It is one of the six basic emotions (along with fear, happiness, anger, surprise, and disgust) and it results in feelings that most humans prefer not to experience. As is the case with other negative emotions, the importance of sadness throughout human history and across cultures can be explained through the evolutionary advantage that it confers.5

Sadness results from a perceived loss, such as the loss of a valued object, the loss of health, the loss of status or of a relationship, or the loss of a loved one. It is a complex bodily and neural state, resulting in feelings of low energy, social withdrawal, low self-worth, and a sense of limited horizon of the future.6 Sad music can be defined objectively, based on its acoustical properties, and subjectively, based on a listener’s interpretation of the emotion that the composer is assumed to have conveyed. The musical features generally associated with “sadness” include lower overall pitch, narrow pitch range, slower tempo, use of the minor mode, dull and dark timbres, softer and lower sound levels, legato articulation, and less energetic execution.7 The emotional content of music can also be described in a bi-directional space of valence and arousal. In this view, sad music is defined as music with low valence and low arousal.8 Others classify music as sad based on either the emotion that is perceived or the emotion that is induced. This is usually determined by directly asking participants which emotion they believe is being expressed by the music or which emotion they feel when listening to the music.9

In the past I have argued that art plays a vital place in our society in realizing good governance and agitating for positive change.10 Art generally reflects the state of the society; in fact one can be right to note that art is a mirror to the society. Art is a reflection of society and culture.

It helps us understand what we are as human beings and influences how we relate to each other. Art is an expression of our inner thoughts, feelings, and experiences. It’s also an expression of creativity that can be used for self-reflection or social influence. As society expands and grows, art changes to reflect its new developments. Art reflects our history and documents the crucial component of our lives.11

Juliani’s song though sad reveals something in the society which seems to be bedeviling Kenya. The major focus of the song is on matters of extrajudicial killing and enforced disappearance. The three folks the song alludes to died mysteriously and folks who were arrested for having taken part in their disappearance and murder were convicted this year. After more than five years. It took public interest for the case to be determined. Those convicted of the murder of the three persons were police officers. Thus, the question is, if those we have entrusted to protect us kill us are we safe? In whose hands are we safe? This paper delves into the issue of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearance with the aim of offering potent and profound recommendations to combat the same.

2) Decoding extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearance in Kenya
Udi Sommer observes that extrajudicial killings are cases where a government kills citizens with no judicial oversight.12 Every individual is guaranteed certain basic human rights and liberties, and at the same time, the individual expects that his/ her rights are being respected. However, sometimes the state government, which is entrusted with the responsibility of protecting and promoting the protection of the human rights itself, violates such rights by committing custodial violence or extra- judicial killings. Extra-judicial killings can be referred to as unlawful killings of an accused by any government authority with no approval or order from the court. There are cases in which these killings take place because of an actual encounter (to prevent the accused from escaping), but there are also numerous cases where fake encounters take place, having different agendas; where the police try to twist the facts of the case so that they cannot be subjected to any questioning if such event occurs.13

Extra-judicial killings are those when the accused person is killed or executed illegally by the police officials in charge of the accused person before the judgment of the trial arrives. It can be said that the accused person in such cases is not even given a right to prove himself/ herself innocent before the court of law, which is illegal, as it violates the basic human rights guaranteed to every individual. The physical torture, sexual harassment, or mental torture of the accused by the police or any other officers in charge while the person is in custody also comes under the ambit of extra-judicial killings. The order for such extra-judicial killings always comes from the particular state government. Extra-judicial killings are nowadays seen often. Such killings can also be termed custodial violence.

On the other hand, enforced disappearance is considered to be the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the State or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the State, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which places such a person outside the protection of the law. It is characterized by three cumulative effects namely: deprivation of liberty against the will of the person; involvement of government officials, at least by acquiescence; refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person.14

A disappearance has a doubly paralyzing impact: on the victim, who is removed from the protection of the law, frequently subjected to torture and in constant fear for their lives; and on their families, ignorant of the fate of their loved ones, their emotions alternating between hope and despair, wondering and waiting, sometimes for years, for news that may never come. Enforced disappearance has frequently been used as a strategy to spread terror within societies. The feeling of insecurity generated by this practice is not limited to the close relatives of the disappeared but also affects their communities and society as a whole.15

Victims of enforced disappearance are people who have literally disappeared; from their loved ones and their community16. They go missing when state officials (or someone acting with state consent) grab them from the street or from their homes and then deny it or refuse to say where they are. Sometimes disappearances may be committed by armed non-state actors, like armed opposition groups. And it is always a crime under international law. These people are often never released, and their fate remains unknown. Victims are frequently tortured and many are killed, or live in constant fear of being killed. They know their families have no idea where they are and that there is little chance anyone is coming to help them. Even if they escape death and are eventually released, the physical and psychological scars stay with them.17

According to Trial International:

Enforced disappearance is the act of making someone disappear against their will, often suddenly. It therefore refers to the arrest, detention or abduction of a person, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the fate of that person. The agents of a repressive State often perpetrate this crime, which, with complete impunity, “gets rid” of people that it considers a “nuisance”: no arrest warrant, no charge, no prosecutions. Outside the protection of the law, the victims find themselves in a situation of utter vulnerability and are especially at risk of being tortured or executed with complete impunity. The uncertainty inherent to enforced disappearance makes it a crime that is distinct from confinement or extrajudicial execution: the families’ feelings swing between hope and disillusionment, which equates to true psychological torture.18

The phenomenon of enforced disappearances first emerged as a state practice during the Nazi era but became widespread under the military regimes in Latin America during the 1960s. The Commission for Historical Clarification in Guatemala found that from the mid- 1960s until the 1996 peace agreement, security forces and “death squads” carried out approximately 45,000 enforced disappearances against anti-government forces and suspected opponents, including members of Mayan communities. The governments of Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru developed a transnational cooperation mechanism called “Operation Condor” to share intelligence about political dissidents for the purposes of carrying out transnational enforced disappearances. The practice of enforced disappearances was soon taken up by governments in other parts of the world, as well. In Sri Lanka, for example, Amnesty International estimates that there have been “at least 60,000 and as many as 100,000 cases of enforced disappearance” since the 1980s.19Kenya has recently recorded several abductions that turned out to be murders when they were investigated to the end. The most recent case was the kidnapping of two Indian nationals – Zulfiqar Ahmad Khan and Mohamed Zaid Sami Kidwai – and their taxi driver Nicodemus Mwania from Mombasa Road. Detectives with the Internal Affairs Unit (IAU) now say the trio was killed and their bodies dumped in the Aberdare forest. The Indians were reported to have arrived in Kenya in April to join William Ruto’s ICT campaign team, but they went missing on July 25 after they were abducted outside Ole Sereni hotel. Police say they were grabbed by armed men who were driving an unmarked motor vehicle.

Mr Khan was known to be active on social media. His abrupt silence raised eyebrows and his family began searching for him. He has never been found. Nine officers who served in the now-disbanded Special Service Unit are believed to know what transpired after the three people were abducted and are in custody as investigations continue. President William Ruto recently said the police unit was disbanded because it was linked to extrajudicial killings and forceful disappearances. The arrested officers include Peter Muthee Gachiku, Francis Muendo Ndonye, John Mwangi Kamau and Joseph Kamau Mbugua, who were taken into custody last week. The others are John Mwendwa Mbaya, David Chepcheng Kipsoi, Stephen Luseno Matunda, Paul Njogu Muriithi and Simon Gikonyo, who were arrested on Wednesday, October 26.

Another incident is that of Dr. Solomon Joloimat Lenengwesi. He went missing on July 8 and his case was taken up by Ipoa on August 22. The businessman had just attended a meeting with a friend at a city hotel and was heading to Kileleshwa when he was stopped by a vehicle that blocked his way. Four armed men jumped out of the car that had barred his way, introducing themselves as police officers before they left with him. Mr Lenengwesi was with his friend in his vehicle. The friend had to drive the vehicle to Mr Lenengwesi’s home. He informed the family about what had transpired. The family called Mr Lenengwesi’s phone number several times but it was not answered, said his sister Salome Lerosion.

The family reported the abduction at the Lang’ata Police Station but were referred to the Kileleshwa Police Station because the incident happened there. “We are asking the detectives following up on the matter to speed up the investigations so that we can get our brother back,” she said. Mr Lenengwesi says in his LinkedIn profile that he was the chief executive at Global Investments Group. He was also the Bingwa Lottery executive chairman when the company partnered with Halifax Limited in a move that allowed Kenyan mobile phone users to buy lottery tickets via short message services, the first end-to-end SMS-based lottery in the country. He did not have any ongoing cases in court.

It is now one year and six months since Mr Mwenda Mbijiwe went missing on Saturday, June 12, 2021. Interestingly, despite the attention the matter was given by former Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss George Kinoti, his disappearance was not included on a recent list issued by Ipoa. Mr Mbijiwe was a known security expert and a former Kenya Air Force officer, serving for several years before he left to start his own company. His disappearance also caught the attention of Rigathi Gachagua, who said that once the Kenya Kwanza coalition won the elections, they would get to the bottom of the matter. But this is yet to happen.

For four months, his phone number remained active on WhatsApp groups until Friday, October 14, 2021, when he left several groups, raising the question suggesting that someone else was using his mobile phone. His family says he disappeared en route from Nairobi to Meru County.
He was going to see his mother. He went silent at 8 pm and his phone signal was traced to Thika, Kiambu County, detectives said. The car he was last spotted in was traced to Kamiti Corner on Sunday, October 20, 2021, with the doors vandalized, keys missing, and the radiator unplugged. Mr Mbijiwe went missing alongside Mathew Muhatia

Namasaka, his longtime driver. Mr Mbijiwe had an ongoing case in court. In June 2019, he was charged with fraudulently acquiring money. He was accused of conning Mr Fadhili Abdi Mohamed of Sh150,000 by pretending that he could get his sister Shamso Abdirahman a job at the United Nations.

Dafton Mwitiki went missing on March 11, 2020, and close family members said he was in a hurry and was heading to seal a deal. His brother Victor said Mr Mwitiki was a shrewd businessman who co-owned a restaurant in Nairobi alongside a Chinese national. But police claimed he had engaged in a series of kidnappings in the city where families had to part with millions of shillings to secure the freedom of their loved ones. In two kidnapping cases that were investigated to the end, the phone numbers were registered to his name, putting him at the centre of the crimes. In the first case, a Chinese national was kidnapped on February 27, 2020, with the criminals demanding Sh100 million.

The plan was foiled by detectives from the National Intelligence Service (NIS) who tracked down the suspects and killed four of them, including an administration police officer. A source privy to the investigations said the communications equipment used in demanding the ransom was a sophisticated one but the line was registered to Mr Mwitiki. In the second case, a university student went missing in January 2020 and his kidnappers demanded a ransom of Sh100 million. The case was reported on January 13, 2020, at the Kilimani Police Station, but investigations were dropped days later after the family withdrew the case and paid the kidnappers Sh4 million after negotiations. The student’s phone was switched off in Roysambu on Thika Road at 11.50 pm on the same day he went missing. Mr Mwitiki’s vehicle was found in a thicket near Juja Oakland Estate after an unidentified person was found driving it. No one has been arrested in relation to the matter.

These are just few cases. Missing Voices, which is a civil society organization in its report, noted that in 2021 alone they documented 219 cases of police killings and enforced disappearances. “Out of these, 187 cases were of police killings, and 32 of enforced disappearances. Of the 32 cases of enforced disappearances, two of the victims were later found alive after campaigns by civil society organizations,” Missing Voices said. Originally, there were 36 cases of enforced disappearances; four of these were found dead more than 24 hours after disappearing in police custody, two were returned alive and 30 remain missing. According to the Missing Voices, 219 cases of police killings and enforced disappearances resulted from 161 separate incidents. They singled out the Pangani Police Station of the infamous Pangani six as the station with the highest number of police killings in Kenya.

In, Of River Yala Dead Bodies: Recrudescing National Coroners Service Act 2017: A Case Study, I observed that River Yala has been the hub of dumping dead bodies. The locals therein do get dead bodies almost on a daily basis thrown. Overtime

it is something that they are used to. Haki Africa Executive Director raised an alarm over the same and it is interesting the former Police Spokesperson was quick to dispute the numbers the Executive Director and Boniface Mwangi gave to the press. These cases thus highlight how enforced disappearance and extrajudicial killings are rife in Kenya.

3) A look at the report by parliament on extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances in Kenya

Extra-judicial killings and Enforced disappearances have become a legislative concern in Kenya. The right to life and the right to the freedom and security of a person are constitutional guarantees, having been enshrined in Articles 26 and 29 of the constitution. Persons have also been guaranteed fair administration of justice under Articles 47 to 50 of the constitution. The recent spike in incidences of extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances reflect
an affront to the Kenyan constitution and has consequently piqued the interest of parliament. In response, the twelfth parliament Standing Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs and Human Rights conducted a probe into extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in Kenya and the report was subsequently adopted.

In identifying the factors that support the continuance of the incidences, the Standing Committee made inquiries from various stakeholders like relevant government agencies, victims’ family members, and various civil society and human rights organizations. The committee especially focused on Nairobi, Mombasa and Kwale counties where such practices are rampant. In Kwale County, civil society organizations pointed out that there was a high number of extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances, but the victims’ families lacked requisite documentation to prove their statuses and cases and so lacked access to government services. The Human Rights Agenda (HURIA) stated that Muslims were the main victims of this practice and that their religious practice of burying the dead within a day was a major hindrance to autopsy examinations and further investigations.

They further revealed that witnesses and especially village elders and leaders were intimidated and killed to hinder the provision of information to law enforcement agencies. In Mombasa County, numerous organizations including the law society, HURIA, Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI), Haki Afrika, Maendeleo ya Wanawake, and the Human Development Agenda took part in the inquiry. The key submissions made indicated that rooted marginalization of the coastal communities was a key contributor to forced disappearances as the youth are recruited by terror groups. It was also submitted that the victims’ families faced continued torture and harassment by law enforcers, breeding mistrust and fear among Mombasa residents. That investigations and actions against perpetrators were delayed. These organizations gave various recommendations including ratifying the International Convention for Protection of all persons from enforced Disappearance, adopting the recommendations of the Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC), providing reparations to victims’ families, establishing a judicial inquiry into the extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances in the coastal region, empowering IPOA to prosecute cases that are reported on extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances, publicizing the amnesty policy and supporting the organizations promoting de-radicalization.

In Nairobi County, organizations that made submissions include the Amnesty International, Haki Afrika, the Defenders Coalition, the Independent Medico-Legal Unit, and the International Justice Mission. The key submissions made included the fact that numerous other security agencies besides the National Police Service were responsible for extrajudicial killings and
forced disappearances. Such agencies include the Kenya Coastguard Service the Kenya Prison Service, Wildlife Service and the Kenya Forestry Service. It was noted that such other agencies were not under the supervisory ambit of the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA), hence lack of oversight and accountability. It was also submitted that numerous cases still remained uninvestigated and neither had families been compensated. The Defenders Coalition noted that Human Rights Defenders are not accorded state protection as evidenced by the violence meted on them including life threats and evictions by landlords. It was also noted that the existence if rogue police officers (dubbed “killer cops”) in the Nairobi slums was one of the leading contributors to this practice. The social justice centers proposed the devolution of IPOA to all counties, and the operationalization of the National Coroners Services Act and the Prevention of Torture Act.

Various Government Agencies also took part in the inquiry and submitted their reports. IPOA submitted that it had made numerous recommendations regarding the use of force and firearms by police officers but the progress was restrained, hence increasing the incidences. It pointed out that it faced many challenges in the execution of its mandate, such as overlap of functions with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, abuse of the rule of law, intimidation of witnesses, limited resources, lack of oversight on other security agencies, and incorrect entries of police records. The Office of the Attorney General and Department of Justice noted that while there was a robust institutional and legislative framework to address extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances, three challenges posed a hindrance to the elimination of the practice. These are: lack of seamless cooperation between various investigative agencies, lack of an independent forensic analysis laboratory that can be utilized by IPOA, and non-operalization of the victim protection fund caused by failure to enact the Victim Protection (Trust Fund) Regulations by the Treasury. The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions submitted that it had adopted a multi-agency approach by working with other agencies like IPOA, the DCI, and the NPS to address extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances. It reported that it had established a civil rights division to address issues on action or inaction by law enforcers, signed a MOU with IPOA, collaborated with Haki Afrika and the International Justice Mission, collaborated with the office of the High Commission for Human Rights, and established the Witness and Victims of Crime Unit to work with the Witness Protection Agency.

After receiving the submissions, the Standing Committee classified their finds into three categories: legislative frameworks, policy frameworks, and administrative frameworks. Under legislative frameworks, the committee made the following findings: Kenya is yet to ratify the International Covenant for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances, the National Coroners Services Act and the Prevention of Torture Act are yet to be Operationalized, the regulations envisaged under the sixth schedule of the NPS Act on the use of force are yet
to be enacted by the cabinet secretary concerned, There is an overlap of functions between IPOA and the DCI under Section 24€ and 35 of the NPS Act and Section 6(a) and 25 of the IPOA Act, and that there is no oversight mechanism over other security agencies besides the NPS. The committee made the following findings on policy frameworks: that Kenya is yet to develop a National Security Policy, that some security organs have however developed some sector-specific policies, and that Kenya lacks a national policy on extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. The following administrative findings were outlined by the commission: the Witness Protection Agency never protects witnesses during the investigative process of cases hence hampering the progression of investigations, there is lack  of cooperation between institutions handing violation of human rights on extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, there is no independent forensic analysis laboratory, victims’ families cannot access due process and are denied funeral permits to mourn their loved ones, IPOA lacks adequate resources and is understaffed, and that the Victim Protection Fund is yet to be operationalized.

Based on these findings, the Standing Committee made 21 recommendations. Some of these are highlighted below. The legislative recommendations include: ratifying the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearances, amending the IPOA Act and the NPS Act to give IPOA the primary role of investigating crimes committed by police officers, amending the IPOA Act to expand the ambit of IPOA’s civilian oversight and investigation of crimes top cover other security agencies, the interior CS and IG to make regulations on the use of force and firearms as required by the NPS Act, and that the treasury CS and the AG to make regulations and bring into operation the Victim protection Trust Fund under the Victim Protection Act. The policy recommendations were that the National Security Council develops a national security policy and the IPOA develops a national policy on policing oversight with the AG. The administrative recommendations included, inter alia, establishing a multi- agency taskforce having members from the ANPS, NCAJ, IPOA, KNCHR, ODPP, and NPSC, operationalizing the National Coroners Services Act and the Prevention of Torture Act, operationalizing an independent forensic analysis laboratory, Review the Witness Protection Act to ensure protection of witnesses during crime investigation, fast-tracking the payment of court awards and reparations to victims of extrajudicial killings, and ensuring the police officers bear tags with their names and service numbers whenever discharging police operations.

4) Recommendations on combating extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in Kenya

1. Adopting and implementing the recommendations made by the Standing Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs and Human Rights

The committee makes robust findings and recommendations that are instrumental in the elimination of the deep-rooted practice of extrajudicial killings and Enforced Disappearances in Kenya. These include: ratifying the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearances, ratifying the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearances, ensuring the police officers bear tags with their names and service numbers whenever discharging police operations, and developing a national policy on policing oversight.

2. Fast-track the operationalization of the National Coroners Service Act of 2017

The National Coroners Service Act will play a huge role in the elimination of extrajudicial killings in Kenya. This can be deduced from its objects as outlined in Section 3, which include providing for the establishment of the National Coroners Service and appointment of coronial officers, providing for the investigation of reportable deaths to determine the identities, time and dates of death of the deceased persons as well as the cause and manner of their deaths, to assist in formulation of policies by offering advise to the government, establishing investigation procedures for reportable deaths, among others.

3. Increase the budgetary allocation to support the operationalization of the National Coroners Service under the relevant Act

Section 9 of the National Coroners Service Act establishes the National Coroners Service, which is under the Coroner General. It is an independent body. Pursuant to Section 28, the service is clothed with jurisdiction to investigate a cause of death under various circumstances. The most notable ones include when a deceased person is reported to have died of a violent or unnatural death, when a deceased person is reported to have died from a sudden death and the cause of such death is not known, and when a deceased person is reported to have died when in police or military custody. In this respect, the Service has an important role to play in the investigation of extra-judicial killings in Kenya as it can carry out independent forensic documentation and reporting. IPOA will not have to rely on the police to analyze a scene of crime, in which case it becomes a hindrance to accessing the police files when the perpetrators are police officers.

4. IPOA should be given the power to prosecute officers found to be involved in extrajudicial killings

One of the challenges IPOA faces as seen in their submissions is that their recommendations to prosecute and discipline police officers whom their investigations find culpable are never implemented in time. This makes the Oversight Authority toothless, as their investigations lead to nothing. For more efficacy, they should be given the power to prosecute those officers whom they find guilty.

5. Establishment of a database to track investigations and prosecutions

The Inspector General of Police should be required to establish and maintain a database that contains information regarding police killings and forced disappearances in Kenya. Such a database should also give updates on the progression of investigations and prosecutions of police officers who are suspected to be involved in extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in Kenya.

6. Establishment and adoption of a policy aimed at protecting activists and defenders of human rights in Kenya

Continuance intimidation and killing of human rights defenders reduces their ability to voice their opinions and investigate matters extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances. Consequently, relevant civil society organizations like the KNCHR and the Defenders Coalition should work with concerned government organizations like the National Police Service and the Witness Protection Agency to develop and adopt working policy meant to protect human rights defenders. This will guarantee their safety.

7. Establishing an independent internal affairs division in the NPS

The division should be independent an autonomous and should consist of fellow police officers that are tasked with the investigation of complaints lodged against other police officers.

5) Conclusion

All encounter killings must be investigated with the utmost diligence as such killings affect the credibility of the rule of law. Rule of law must be ensured at all costs in every case across the country. It is the duty of the state government to adhere to the rule of law and work in accordance with the rule of law. There is a need to train police officials in such a way that they can handle every unforeseen situation and protect the accused in police custody. As encounter killings are increasing day by day, resulting in human rights violations. Thus, there is a need to instill the importance of human rights in the minds of the police officers executing these unlawful killings as well as the public who engage in these atrocities.

Odhiambo Jerameel Kevins Owuor is a law student at University of Nairobi, Parklands Campus.

Margaret Kerubo Orare is a finalist law student at University of Nairobi, Parklands Campus.

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