NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenyan police are responsible for the disappearance of three men, including a human rights activist with the U.S.-based International Justice Mission, 10 local and international human rights groups say.
Dozens of lawyers in the Nairobi chapter of the Law Society of Kenya also protested the disappearance of the rights activist, who is a lawyer.
Evidence shows that human rights lawyer Willy Kimani, his client Josphat Mwenda and taxi driver Joseph Muiruri were abducted on June 23 while coming from court where Mwenda had been charged with possession of narcotics, the rights groups said.
The rights group said that Mwenda, a motorcycle taxi driver, had been shot by a plainclothes police officer on April 10, 2015, without provocation. In an attempt to cover up the shooting, the officer charged Mwenda with drug possession, gambling in a public place and resisting arrest, the rights groups said. Mwenda said he received threats after he reported the officer to the Independent Police Oversight Authorities.
On December 13, the officer who shot Mwenda, picked him up from his home and charged him at the Mlolongo police station with fabricated traffic charges including driving a motorcyle without a helmet, driving a motorcycle without a reflective jacket and carrying uninsured passengers, the rights groups said.
This was despite the fact that Mwenda was still nursing the bullet wound on his arm and couldn't drive his motorbike, they said. He was also picked up on February 16 by officers in civilian clothing claiming to investigate him for robbery with violence, the rights groups said. Rights groups that signed the statement include Amnesty International, the government-funded Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, Freedom House and the Kenya Human Rights Commission.