Activists: State violates human rights in fighting extremism

Sunday December 10 2017

Garissa Town.

A map of Garissa Town. Human rights defenders in Garissa have accused the government of using excessive force and violating human rights in its bid to counter violent extremism in Northeastern region. GRAPHICS | GOOGLE MAPS 

By ABDIMALIK HAJIR
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Human rights defenders in Garissa have accused the government of using excessive force and violating human rights in its bid to counter violent extremism in Northeastern region.

Garissa human rights defenders and officials from the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) on Sunday said that for the last two years, they have received more than 100 cases of human rights violations in Garissa.

HUMAN RIGHTS

Most of the cases, they said, were reported immediately after the deadly Garissa University College raid on April 2, 2015 that claimed the lives of 148 people.

The human rights defenders spoke during a function to mark the 69th International Human Rights Day that is marked every December 10.

They said some of the victims include businesspeople, clerics and their relatives, madrassa teachers and M-Pesa dealers.

Head of Garissa human right defenders, Mr Muktar Dahir, said the violations range from extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, unlawful detention and torture, among others.

THREATS

He said threats and intimidation of witnesses hamper investigations on human rights violations in the region.

KNCHR regional coordinator Thuo Kinyanjui presided over the ceremony that was also involved a procession in Garissa Town.

According to the human rights crusader, violations perpetrated by the military are the most difficult to investigate.

“We all know that the military has been used to counter violent extremism in the region. It has always been a big challenge to investigate them because of their chain of commands,” he said.