alexa Fida pulls out of probe team - Daily Nation

Fida pulls out of probe team

Thursday November 13 2008

By NATION Correspondent

The Federation of Women Lawyers (Fida) has withdrawn from a special task force investigating sexual violence during the post-election crisis.

In an open letter to police commissioner Hussein Ali, Fida executive director Patricia Nyaundi on Thursday accused the police of deliberately excluding the organisation and failing to address its concerns.

“Our withdrawal… has been necessitated by what we feel is a deliberate move to exclude us from the process,” wrote Ms Nyaundi. “Under the current rules of engagement, we find ourselves at the peripheries of this exercise.”

The task force was formed in the wake of the Waki report’s findings that the police did little to prevent or probe sex crimes during the post-election violence.

Turned away

The report found that officers turned away women who attempted to report rape cases and, in some instances, were themselves the rapists.

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Speaking at the launch of the task force on October 28, Maj Gen Ali urged women to approach the body with information and complaints. At the same function, Ms Nyaundi said Fida would provide lawyers and counsellors to help the team.

The task force is a 32-member team of female officers headed by Ms Lilian Kiamba. Calls to police spokesmen were not returned, and Ms Kiamba could not be reached for comment.