Mumias residents are being arrested as they report GSU brutality, says IMLU
Independent Medico-Legal Unit says preliminary reports show victims are being intimidated when they visit Mumias police station. Terms operation brutish, careless
Residents who say they were beaten up by GSU officers in Mumias town are being intimidated and arrested when they go to report the cases at local police stations, a lobby group has said.
GSU and police officers were deployed to search for guns stolen, when a gang raided the Booker police post last week.
The Independent Medico-Legal Unit said on Monday the operation in Shivale, Koyonzo and Mayoni villages was “brutish, shameless and careless”.
IMLU said preliminary reports show some of the victims are being arrested when they try to report their tribulations at the Mumias police station.
It said the operation led to the tragic death of one person, and women were sexually assaulted.
IMLU said tens of residents were injured and property looted and destroyed. Last week, GSU officers pulled out of the operation after residents and leaders complained about harassment and excessive force. But security forces said the team was withdrawn after accomplishing its mission.
The operation in Mumias West, Mumias East and Matungu constituencies aimed to recover seven German-made G3 rifles and 140 bullets.
Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali and former ODM youth leader Rashid Mohammed said on Sunday officers contribute to security lapses and violence. They said cases of residents being killed by the police are rampant in Busia, Bungoma and Kakamega.
In a press statement, IMLU said the operation was a complete violation of Article 28 of the Constitution on human dignity. The law says every person has inherent dignity and the right to have that dignity respected and protected.
“We call for the immediate interdiction of the officer in charge of this operation and all other officers in the contingent who were involved,” IMLU, through its executive director Peter Kiama, said.
He said the government should take responsibility for the medical and psychological rehabilitation of all victims. Kiama said Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet should issue a public apology to victims and residents of the three villages for “these breaches of their dignity, safety and security”.
“In the meantime IMLU will conclude and produce the legal, psychological and medical evidence to ensure accountability and justice for all affected,” he said.
Booker police post in Mumias, where seven G3 rifles were stolen