PBI-Kenya highlights ‘Missing Voices’ action on St. Valentine’s Day to remember victims of police killings

Published by Brent Patterson on

On February 14, the Peace Brigades International-Kenya Project posted, “Today, Missing Voices launched the 2019 Annual Report on the State of Police Killings and Enforced Disappearances in Kenya.”

PBI-Kenya continues, “As the World celebrates Valentine’s Day, Missing Voices is spreading roses not bullets in remembrance of victims of police killings and enforced disappearances and urging Kenyans to speak up because their silence kills.”

As noted on its website, Missing Voices is “a group of organizations whose mission is to end enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings in Kenya.”

Peace Brigades International is a partner organization to Missing Voices.

In this recent press statement, Missing Voices notes, “Last year, police killed 107 Kenyans according to Missing Voices verified data, most of those killed were young men mostly in informal settlements. The numbers show that 69 per cent of those killed were mostly youth of between 18 to 35 years, followed by 20 per cent of those below 18 years. With about 80 per cent of those killed in 2019 being below the age of 35, Kenya is heading on a slippery slope where we seem to criminalise youth.”

Peace Brigades International has previously noted, “People in Nairobi’s informal settlements face serious inequities in basic services ranging from water and sanitation to the state’s justice system, which threatens their very right to life.”

“Extrajudicial executions are frequently carried out in these areas by murderous police officers, whose collaboration with the regular police units and with the operational and support structures remains a mystery.”

“Such experiences do not occur in Nairobi’s affluent neighborhoods, highlighting the scorn and widespread criminalization of the urban poor.”

In April 2018, PBI-Kenya together with the Mathare Social Justice Centre, the Ghetto Foundation and Saferworld began a two-year project titled Ushirikiano Mwema kwa Usalama (Good relationships for safety) to tackle the normalization of extrajudicial killings in the Nairobi constituencies of Mathare, Kamukunji and Embakasi North.

In January 2020, PBI-Kenya provided members of the Network of Mothers of Victims and Survivors of extra judicial killings, anchored at the Mathare Social Justice Centre, with trainings meant to build the capacities of the network as they pursue justice for their families and others.

Our Annual Review notes that in 2018, “Four international volunteers accompanied members of two grassroots organisations and twenty-nine human rights defenders working in the Nairobi’s urban settlements and the Mount Kenya region.”

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