Police in Mombasa have been accused of brutally killing former knife-wielding criminals said to have reformed.
A family and a human rights organisation Saturday blamed the police of stalling efforts to reform the youth who were suspected to be members of criminal gangs.
This is after a suspected notorious criminal, Abubakar Salim, 26, was Saturday evening gunned down by the police in Kisauni.
He was killed after he had gone to watch a football match at Uwanja wa Kobra in Mwandoni, Kisauni, according to his friends.
Salim, popularly known as Haribika, was sprayed with at least 10 bullets in different parts of his body, according to this reporter who viewed the body at the Coast Provincial General Hospital (CPGH).
Salim’s killing brings the number of the suspected criminals killed by the police to almost 30 in the last six months.
Last week alone at least five suspected members of a criminal gang were gunned down.
On Saturday, Salim’s family claimed that their kin had reformed.
“My brother had reformed and even joined the Kenya Red Cross Society as a volunteer. Seeing him sprayed with bullets pains us. We have been trying to ensure he becomes the good person he wanted to be but the police killed him because of his past record,” said Fahim Salim, his elder brother.
Haki Africa, a Mombasa-based human rights group said the Salim was set to get a job with the Kenya Red Cross Society as a driver.
“The youth was among those who had surrendered to the KRCS and I can personally confirm that he was at a meeting where the youth had been taken in for reform programmes,” Haki Africa’s Executive Director Hussein Khalid said.
Mr Khalid took issue with security agents saying killing the youth is grounding the community’s effort in reforming them.
“The laws have become nothing to the police. Even if someone is accused to being a criminal the law should take its course but the police are operating as if we are in a banana republic,” he said.
According to police reports, the youth had tried to attack some officers and was killed after he refused to surrender as ordered.