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Police body to probe rights abuses in Eastleigh raids

The National Police Service Commission will investigate reported incidents of human rights abuse perpetrated by police officers during anti-terror raids in Eastleigh.

Chairman Johnston Kavuludi said the commission is set to hold a meeting with police bosses who were in charge of the Operation Usalama Watch.

Among the incidents the commission will investigate include the death of a six-months-old breastfeeding baby who died of starvation after her mother was arrested in the security swoops.

Police, according to reports, had ignored the woman’s pleadings on the circumstance of her baby. Police authorities however dismissed the report as a fabrication.

“Am sorry to hear about the baby who died while the mother was arrested. This is against human rights. In any case, if we receive reports of such cases, we will launch investigation immediately,” said Mr Kavuludi.

“We are having a meeting with police bosses and we will definitely look into the issue of Eastleigh where the baby died after the mother was arrested.”

The commission however faces the challenge of not having witnesses who report incidents of human rights abuse and  who are ready testify in court.

“The problem is we do not (investigate) because people tend not to come out to inform us. We then take a consultation process whereby we rely on what comes from the police,” said Mr Kavuludi.

“Information is very important for us to be able to investigate. Sometimes it is not sufficient enough for us to act upon.”

Mr Kavuludi made the remarks during a media breakfast meeting on the police vetting process at a Nairobi hotel.