Lobby wants inmate’s death probe speeded up

Wednesday June 19 2019

 Peter Kiama

Independent Medico Legal Unit Director Peter Kiama during a past event. The has asked the police to expedite investigations into the death of an inmate at the Naivasha Maximum Security Prison. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

STELLA CHERONO
By STELLA CHERONO
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MACHARIA MWANGI
By MACHARIA MWANGI
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A human-rights body has asked the police to expedite investigations into the death of an inmate at the Naivasha Maximum Security Prison after he was allegedly beaten by warders for not queuing properly.

The Independent Medico Legal Unit (IMLU) and Simon Gitahi’s father David Nduro urged the National Police Service and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights to find out how the man, who was serving a life sentence, died in an isolation cell.

The lobby said the man was allegedly pulled from the queue by warders, who then beat him before locking him up in an isolation cell, where he later died.

“The actions of the prison warders on June, 13, 2019, point to a clear contravention of Article 25 of the Constitution, which states that freedom from torture and cruelty, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment shall not be limited,” IMLU Director Peter Kiama said in a statement.

'ASTHMA ATTACK’

He called for the prosecution of warders and others found to be responsible for the inmate’s death.

The man’s father earlier rejected prison authority’s claims that he died after a severe asthmatic attack, saying his son did not suffer from the condition.

“My son’s body has visible bruises on the ribs, legs and with several open wounds,” he told journalists at the Naivasha Sub-County Hospital mortuary.

TORTURE CLAIMS

Fellow inmates and an insider earlier told the Nation that Gitahi was tortured, hauled into a cell and died hours later.

But Deputy Commissioner of Prisons and Director of Operations Duncan Ogore said the inmate was sick and was pronounced dead on arrival at the Naivasha hospital.

“We have requested a detailed report on the circumstances before the inmate being taken to the facility’s sick bay,” he said.