Coast Civil societies Reference group, a rights and security lobby group in the coast region has accused law enforcement agencies on claims of misuse and violation of human rights during the covid-19 pandemic period.
According to the lobby, there was a massive violation of human rights during the enforcement of covid-19 restrictions and containment measures.
Addressing the media in Mombasa on Friday, the lobby’s chairperson Zedekiah Adika said the lobby observed inhuman and degrading treatment orchestrated by the disproportionate use of force by police that led to the loss of lives.
He says the country has recorded over 20 police linked deaths with many more brutality cases going unreported.
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“While progress has been made on this matter, consistency on observance and respect of human rights seems a luxury to the state apparatus. The families of those injured and dead should be compensated and those culpable held accountable,” said Adika.
Adika insists that there is a need to educate chiefs and local administration on the need to let families of the bereaved accord their families a decent send-off.
“Mishandling of dead bodies right from the place of storage, hastened burials without being considerate to the families creates stigma to those already traumatised,” said the Kituo Cha Sheria lawyer.
Adika also added that access to justice and respect for the rights of the poor and disadvantaged communities has been a challenge during the covid-19 pandemic.
According to him, vulnerable communities have been victims of police harassment and abuse by authority.
“While police officers were granted additional powers to limit some rights to protect public health, in many instances this led to the use of excessive and deadly force. Consequently, we observed an increase in the number of arrests and charges,” he said.
Meanwhile, Collaboration of Women in Development Executive Director Betty Sharon called on the national government to come clean about where and how the covid-19 funds were used.
She claims that the allegations of corruption and misuse of covid-19 funds and mismanagement of government programs continue to disrupt the confidence of the majority of Kenyans.
“Both the national and county governments need to come out clean on the funds so that the taxpayer and including the international community will have more confidence that the government has spent judiciously the COVID-19 monies,” said Sharon.
Coasta secretary-general Edwin Shamir called on law enforcement officers to respect the rule of law.