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Asia and the Pacific
Western Asia

Kenya - October 2022

Ground-breaking prosecution of Kenyan police for 2017 election violence

In a decision described by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights as “ground-breaking”, Kenyan prosecutors charged twelve police officers with crimes against humanity for their role in the violent suppression of post-election protests in 2017. According to the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, the violence that followed resulted in 94 deaths, 201 cases of sexual violence and more than 300 injuries, most of which it attributed to the security forces. The charges include rape, murder and torture and are the first under Kenya’s International Crimes Act. It is also the first instance in which electoral-related sexual violence has been criminally prosecuted in Kenya. Newly inaugurated president, William Ruto, has vowed to reform the security sector in order to end the enduring problem of security force violence in the country and in October disbanded the Special Services Unit, a 20-year-old police unit accused of extrajudicial killings and torture.        

Sources: The Guardian, UN, Anadolu Agency, The Citizen, Human Rights Watch, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (1), Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (2)

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