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Lobby group wants police officer Ahmed Rashid charged with murder

The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) recommended murder charges against former Pangani Police Station officer Mr Ahmed Rashid.

According to IPOA Chairperson Anne Makori, investigations have revealed that Mr Rashid killed two victims by the name Jamal Mohamed and Mohamed Dhair Kheri.

The authority concluded that the two victims were unarmed when they were fatally shot by the police officer in Nairobi’s Eastleigh estate in March 2017.

And even as Mr Rashid waits to know his fate after filing an application seeking to have the office of the Director of Public Prosecution review the murder charges against him, the Police Reforms Working Group (PRWG) has said it received several complaints against the same officer and others.

The lobby group has also said citizens and communities have constitutional rights to assemble and express their views under Article 37 and 33 of the Constitution of Kenya.

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“The killing of Jamal Mohamed and Mohamed Dahir Kheri in 2017 is not only a matter for the residents of Eastleigh it is a matter of national interest,” the group said.

“There is a long history of profiling, intimidation and murder of suspects, especially from the Somali community. Opening the door for unlawful police action opens the door also for enforced disappearances, unlawful renditions and violence along the lines of the so-called operation sanitisation of 2014.”

The group said the summary executions of members of the public by police officers violate Article 26 of the Constitution, which protects the right to life and Article 50 which ensures our right to a fair trial.

At the same time, the group has questioned the conduct of IPOA, and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution in carrying out some of the cases that have not been resolved.

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“Our record is clear, we have stood up and demanded victims of criminality in Yala, Garissa, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nyeri, and Eastleigh for many years.”

Mr Rashid will be arraigned in court on December 8 for a plea hearing if the court does not rule according to his wish.

“That the petitioner is bewildered by the turn of events and has a well-founded fear that the respondents are not acting in good faith and have a bad motive in their decision as he has never been summoned to give any account on the allegations over which the respondents obtained summons thus a well-choreographed plan to fix him without any lawful basis,” part of the court papers reads.

However, the lobby group which has opposed the application says that community and intelligence-based policing is what will stop crime, and not handing the power of criminal justice to a single officer or a unit.

“Rashid’s application blocks the constitutional principle that officers can behave above the law. The higher standard of proof is to ensure that no person is condemned based on rumours, vendetta, or mistaken identity.”

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