Muhuri seeks justice for family of Lamu man beaten by police

Wednesday January 9 2019

Muhuri Rapid Response Officer Francis Auma

Muhuri Rapid Response Officer Francis Auma (2nd left) at King Fahad County Hospital on January 9, 2019 where Yusuf Abuu, 19, is admitted after he was allegedly brutally beaten by police officers. Mr Auma said Muhuri will help the family get justice. PHOTO | KALUME KAZUNGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

KALUME KAZUNGU
By KALUME KAZUNGU
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The Muslims for Human Rights (Muhuri) organisation has moved in to assist a Lamu family whose relative was allegedly brutally beaten by police officers get justice.

Mr Yusuf Abuu, 19, is now admitted to the King Fahad County Hospital after developing abdominal complications and a raptured appendix.

Mr Abuu, who is the first born in a family of eight and who hails from Ndau village in Lamu East, was arrested by the police for allegedly stealing a duck in December 2018.

He was taken to Ndau Police Station where he was allegedly harassed, beaten and seriously injured by the officers which led to his hospitalisation a week ago.

THREATENED

Before slipping into a coma, Mr Abuu alleged that the police officers had threatened him and warned him not report the matter to anyone.

Medical reports at the hospital indicate that Abuu suffered a ruptured appendix and his condition continues to deteriorate even after an emergency surgery was performed on him last week.

Speaking at the hospital shortly after meeting the victim’s family on Wednesday, Muhuri Rapid Response Officer Francis Auma condemned the beating, terming it as pure police brutality.

Mr Auma said Muhuri has been receiving distress calls from Lamu residents almost on a daily basis concerning injustices meted on them by security agencies.

COURT CASE

He said they will not hesitate to take Mr Abuu’s case to court for it to serve as an example to security officers with similar behaviour.

“It’s unfortunate that security agencies mandated to protect civilians here in Lamu have turned to be agents of brutality and all sorts of harassment. The case of Yusuf is nothing but pure brutality and attempted murder on the part of the police. As Muhuri, we are gathering all relevant statements on this incident. We have also instructed our advocate and we will be suing the Lamu police officers involved. We will fully sponsor the case and ensure Yusuf’s family gets justice,” said Mr Auma.

He called on the government through Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to intervene and probe all security bosses in Lamu for allowing their juniors to breach the law in their course of duty.

“There is a recent report released and which indicates that police and the military in Lamu are harassing and intimidating citizens. It’s disappointing that nothing has so far been done by the government. I, therefore, urge the government through CS Matiang’i to do something about this. These are people who are being treated like animals here in Lamu and it’s unfair,” said Mr Auma.

HARASSMENT CASES

Lamu County Muhuri Field Assistant Officer Ali Habib revealed that more than 20 cases of harassment by security agencies in Lamu have been reported to his office since November 2018.

Mr Habib said most of the cases involve arbitrary arrests and beatings by the officers in uniform.

“We are aware such cases are many but some are not reported to our office since victims are threatened not to talk about it by the police. So far the Independent Policing Oversight Authority officials have come to Lamu and we forwarded some of the cases to them for action,” said Mr Habib.

Lamu County Haki Africa Paralegal Officer Yunus Is’hakia called on the National Police Service (NPS) to compensate the family of Mr Abuu for the damages caused to his life.

Mr Is’hakia also said there is need for police service to cater for all the medical expenses of the victim.