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Anti-torture bill in offing to tame rogue police officers

The government is set to introduce the Anti-torture bill in Parliament within the next 28 days, Attorney General Githu Muigai has said. The bill is to provide the relevant legal framework for the prevention, prohibition and punishment or acts of torture and ill-treatment while in police custody.

Muigai said the government does not condone any form of torture or extra-judicial killing of anyone and reiterated that anyone found culpable will be dealt with as per the law.

“Any person or security agent who in the course of duty perverts the cause of justice that results to the torture or to a person being killed, will face the full force of the law,” he said. He said the bill will provide guidelines on how suspects should be handled while awaiting trial to rein in errant security agents.

This comes in the wake of killings of a lawyer, his client and a taxi driver allegedly in the hands of police. The bodies of the three were found on Friday in River Athi near Ol Donyo Sabuk.

As a result, the lawyers umbrella body, Law Society of Kenya (LSK), downed their tools from yesterday in protest of the killing of their member and demanded the immediate resignation of Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery and Inspector General of police Joseph Boinnet.

Muigai was speaking in Nairobi yesterday during a breakfast meeting with the stakeholders and development partners of the Kenya National Integrated Civic Education (K-NICE), which was relaunched yesterday.

The programme was first introduced by the government in 2011 in collaboration with non-state agencies to provide basic education on the Constitution of Kenya through sustainable awareness.

It, however, went down in 2013 but Muigai said they decided to bring it back in readiness for the 2017 polls to provide information to enable citizen participation in governance, cultivate a culture of patriotism and ensure citizens make informed decisions based on issues as opposed to ethnic affiliation.

“The programme aims to address governance challenges including corruption and lack of transparency as well as accountability which have now found their way into new structures of governance including county governments,” said Muigai.

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