UN agency questions Kenya report on torture

Wednesday May 15 2013

By CAROLINE WAFULA [email protected] in Geneva

The government was Wednesday taken to task by the UN Committee Against Torture on its commitment to implement reforms to address various forms of torture.

A report submitted by the government to the committee was questioned by members of the UN agency who said it contained some information that was a complete contradiction to the reality on the ground.

The State’s commitment to improve the justice system through reforms was a key concern at the two-hour Kenya review meeting at Palais Wilson in Geneva.

A committee member, Mr Satyabhoosun Gupt Domah, said the government’s position showed an official side that portrayed Kenya as a perfect country with regard to addressing torture issues.

“There is the official side and then the reality on the ground,” he said adding that before the post-election violence in 2007/2008, Kenya was highly reputed in the region.

“It used to be highly respected and it had high potential but despite that it smirks of corruption, torture and other forms of abuses,” Mr Domah said.

Attorney-General Githu Muigai who led the government delegation presented the Kenyan report on progress in reforms on torture related issues.

The committee said with the huge number of legislation that Kenya has enacted since its last review in 2008, one would expect a better picture of its situation. The agency added that, one would have expected changes and a new era in the country with the adoption of the Constitution in 2010.

The government was accused with mention of extra-judicial killings, poor prison conditions and challenges that victims go through when seeking redress. The Kenyan team will today reply to issues raised at yesterday’s meeting.