What you need to know:
- Haki Africa Executive Director Hussein Khalid said the bodies exhibited signs of torture.
- The victims are Juma Said Sarai, Khalfan Linuku Abdalla, Nassir Gatana and Usama Nassir.
- The rights groups called on the government to form a task force to investigate the cases.
Human rights groups are demanding justice for four men whose bodies have been recovered from Tsavo National Park in Taita- Taveta County.
The four are alleged to have been picked up from Kwale County last year.
According to Haki Africa and Human Development Agenda, the four were taken away in November and December 2019
by officers who claimed to be attached to the Anti-Terror Police Unit.
The four are Juma Said Sarai, Khalfan Linuku Abdalla, Nassir Gatana (all who disappeared on December 22, 2019) and Usama Nassir (who disappeared on November 30, 2019).
The bodies were collected between January 14 and 20 this year by police officers.
Speaking to the Nation, Haki Africa Executive Director Hussein Khalid said the bodies had signs of torture, including burns, gagging and strangulation.
“It is sad to imagine that such incidents occur in Kenya. These people underwent torture before they were murdered. Some had ropes and burnt nylon around their arms, legs and necks. It is not possible for police officers to claim that they do not know who is doing this,” said Mr Khalid.
He said identification of the bodies was ongoing although some will require DNA tests.
“Some bodies are completely disfigured [and] you cannot tell who they belong to. Some families have already identified their relatives. We hope by evening we will have identified the others,” said Mr Khalid.
He said that between 2018 and 2019, his organisation recorded 56 cases of extra-judicial killings and forced disappearances at the Coast.
“We have courts of law. Why are these people not taken there if they are suspected to be members of terror groups? The most affected regions are Kwale, Lamu and Mombasa,” he said.
The rights groups called on the government to form a task force to investigate the cases and hold accountable the officers involved in the killings.
They urged Coast leaders to include extra-judicial killings and forced disappearances among the issues to be addressed by the Building Bridges Initiative, saying the killings have long-term effects on people from the region.
“Youth determine the economic development of a region. What will happen to Coast in the years to come when our people are killed like this?” he asked.
Mr Khalid said it was regrettable that such violations are happening in the country.
“We call for the immediate setting up of a task force to investigate the killings and ensure the killers are brought to justice,” he said.