The Kenya army is responsible for mass torture in Mount Elgon
|Publisher||International Federation for Human Rights|
|Publication Date||13 May 2008|
|Cite as||International Federation for Human Rights, The Kenya army is responsible for mass torture in Mount Elgon, 13 May 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/482c5bc81a.html [accessed 22 May 2013]|
FIDH and its member organisation, the Kenya Human Rights Commission, condemn the violations of human rights committed by Kenya army members in Mount Elgon.
In early March 2008, the army launched an operation targeting the Sabaot Land Defence Forces (SLDF) which was accused of carrying out an increasing number of attacks on villages, killing people, stealing cattle and destroying homes. Members of SLDF claim to be fighting for land which they say belongs to the Sabaot clan of the Kalenjin Community.
According to a Report of the Kenyan NGO, Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU), which was released in April 2008, the military operation reportedly resulted in mass arrests and "subsequent prosecution of over twelve hundred persons" and "most of the persons arraigned have raised complaints of torture and exhibited injuries that remain to be accounted for by the state".
According to the same Report, torture survivors indicated that Police Officers reportedly assisted the military in arresting suspects and transferring them to waiting military vehicles, to Kapkota military camp where they would be tortured. Police also reportedly waited and picked torture survivors from the camp and transferred them to the nearby Police station, brought them back to Kapkota for further torture.
FIDH and KHRC recall that torture is prohibited by the UN Convention against torture, Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and peoples' Rights and Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, all three international instruments ratified by Kenya. Section 74 of the Constitution of Kenya also prohibits torture or inhuman and degrading treatment.
FIDH and KHRC urge the national authorities to take all necessary measures to ensure that all individual responsible for the acts of torture be brought before justice, and that suspects are accorded adequate protection of the law as guaranteed under section 77 of the Constitution of Kenya and Kenya's criminal law and legal procedures.
FIDH and KHRC submitted relevant information to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and the Special Rapporteur on Prison's detention of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights to publicly and calls upon them to condemn these acts of torture and to ask the government of Kenya to respect its international human rights obligations.