Kenya anti-terror police group charged in abuses

Kenya's Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) has carried out a series of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in violation of international laws, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported Aug. 18. Based on interview research conducted between November 2013 and June 2014, terrorism suspects were badly mistreated, killed, beaten, abducted and detained without access to families or lawyers. HRW called on Kenya to thoroughly investigate the allegations and urged the US to suspend donor support to the ATPU. The ATPU has previously come under criticism by other human rights groups. Last year the Kenyan human rights group Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI) and the Open Society Justice Initiative jointly issued a report, calling on the US and the UK to suspend financial support to the ATPU. The report followed the completion of a new ATPU headquarters in Nairobi in May, which was partially funded by international anti-terror agencies. The facility increased technological capabilities and physical space for the ATPU, whose mission is to coordinate and carry out anti-terrorism operations within Kenya in support of the global war on terror. The unit's primary focus of late is Kenya's second-largest city, Mombasa, as the port city has become a major recruitment target for the al-Qaeda-linked group al-Shabaab, based in Somalia.

From Jurist, Aug. 18. Used with permission.

  1. Riots follow Mombasa slayings

    One person was killed in the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa on Nov. 9 after youths rioted to protest against the killing of an alleged Islamist militant. Unidentified gunmen shot and killed Hassan Guti as he was driving in the city with his wife and niece. Riots broke out  after his burial. Police officially denied involvement in the killing, but sources within the force said Guti was slain by the elite Anti Terrorism Police Unit. (Reuters, Nov. 9) 

    Days earlier, Salim Bakari Mwarangi, a Muslim cleric described as vocal critic of Somalia's al-Shabab, was shot after evening prayers. Six clerics, both radical and moderate, have been killed in Mombasa since 2012. (BBC News, Nov, 5)

  2. Al-Shabaab in Kenya massacre

    Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for an attack on a bus in northern Kenya that killed 28 people. The bus was travelling to Nairobi, when it was stopped in Mandera county, near the Somali border. Gunmen separated out non-Muslims by asking passengers to read from the Koran, officials and witnesses said. Those who failed were then shot in the head. The Shabaab statement said the attack on "crusaders" was retaliation for raids that Kenyan security forces carried out over the past week on mosques in the port city of Mombasa. (BBC News, AFP)

  3. Kenya claims Somalia raids

    The Kenyan military has killed more than 100 al-Shabab militants in two operations in Somalia, deputy president William Ruto said, targetting a camp from where the bus attack was planned. Al-Shabab refuted this, and said that its fighters were safe. (BBC News) Meanwhile in Nairobi, protesters marched on parliament to protest insecurity, under the hashtag #OccupyHarambeeHouse (Capital FM, BBC News)

  4. Gunmen kill dozens in attack on Kenya mine

    At least 36 people have been killed in an attack on a stone quarry in Mandera, northern Kenya. Gunmen opened fire at the quarry in the early hours of Dec. 2 after rousting workers from their sleep and separating Muslims and non-Muslims, sources said. (Al Jazeera, BBC World Service)