Alston alleges widespread extrajudicial executions by Kenyan police

Philip Alston, John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law as well as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, held a press conference on February 25 in Nairobi following a 10-day mission to investigate alleged extrajudicial killings of criminal suspects and others by Kenyan police. Alston concluded that such acts were not isolated incidents; rather, they were "systematic, widespread, and clearly planned."

Urging President Mwai Kibaki to dismiss Police Commissioner Mohammed Hussein before launching an investigation into the killings, Alston also called for the resignation of Attorney General Amos Wako, who, Alston said, had failed to exercise adequate oversight of police and the criminal justice system, and was "the embodiment in Kenya of the phenomenon of impunity." Alston advocated as well the forming of a tribunal to prosecute suspects in a series of violent post-election attacks in 2007. He further recommended a government inquiry into the killing of more than 200 civilians by soldiers sent to quash a militia group in western Kenya in 2008. Kibaki's silence on extrajudicial executions in Kenya was "both conspicuous and problematic," said Alston, who will present a final report on the problems in Kenya to its government and to the U.N.

Read the full text of Alston's remarks

Read the USA Today story about Alston's press conference

Read the Voice of America story about Alston's press conference

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