A human rights NGO has criticised Kenya’s President William Ruto for failing to reduce human rights violations, after it documented a more than twofold increase in abuses since the beginning of Mr Ruto’s presidency in September 2022.
“In the past year, we have witnessed a wave of punitive policing during protests, extrajudicial executions, deaths in custody, deliberate torture of children, interference with investigative authorities, unconstitutional interference of the National Police Service and other critical human rights violations,” said the Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU) on Thursday.
IMLU documented 482 cases of torture and related violations since last October, some 128 extrajudicial murders and three enforced disappearances. It says the victims are overwhelmingly young males, with minors aged 17 or younger accounting for 44 cases.
The organisation said that “the data implies that the president’s efforts to address police abuse and protect urban youth have fallen short”.
President Ruto has repeatedly promised to abolish extrajudicial killings.
“For the avoidance of doubt, there will be no extrajudicial killings in the government of Kenya under my administration. That is a chapter we must close, weld, bolt and put behind us,” he said in an interview with Kenyan media in January.