PBI presents to Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions on the situation in Kenya and Colombia

Published by Brent Patterson on

On June 22, Kim-Mai Vu of Peace Brigades International presented to the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland during the Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

She stated:

PBI welcomes the report of the Special Rapporteur.

Kenya

In Kenya, the Missing Voices Coalition documented 187 alleged extrajudicial executions in 2021, an increase of 29 compared to 2020. Of grave concern are the long delays in investigation of extrajudicial executions and in the courts, threats to witnesses and human rights defenders who fight against police violence; and the resulting denial of justice for victims and family.

In line with the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur, it is imperative that Kenya operationalize the Coroners Service Act, enacted in 2017, that establishes an independent National Coroners Service. However, as of yet no Coroner-General has been appointed and no Service has been established. The operationalization of this Act would be a significant step towards prompt, effective and impartial investigations of extrajudicial executions.

Colombia

In Colombia, extrajudicial executions persist. Despite the reforms introduced in the 1990s, practice shows that the Minnesota Protocol* is not properly applied. In cases where the rural civilian population is presented as having been killed in combat by the armed forces, as in the recent case of the Puerto Leguizamo massacre in April 2022, or where there are serious doubts about how events occurred, victims and human rights organizations denounce the lack of implementation of the Minnesota Protocol by the armed forces.

Similar situations occur in the cases of civilians arbitrarily executed in contexts of social protest, where military criminal justice continues to operate and substantially affects due process especially the initial evidence gathering phase of the legal proceedings. The cases of Dilan Cruz, the youth of Cali and the 9 September massacre are emblematic examples.

We are also concerned about the lack of security guarantees for the families of the victims, their legal representatives and the persistent re-victimization as well as the widespread impunity for extrajudicial executions.

Thank you, Mr. President.

The video of her presentation can be seen here (starting at 03:11:26).

*The Minnesota Protocol on the Investigation of Potentially Unlawful Death (2016) is a set of international guidelines for the investigation of suspicious deaths, particularly those in which the responsibility of a State is suspected (either as a result of act or omission).

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