IMLU – Forensic investigations into post-election violence related deaths

Forensic investigations into post-election violence related deaths

Following the delayed and disputed release of the general elections results of 27th December 2007 there was wide speculation of rigging. This led to nationwide protests and an outbreak of violence seemingly driven by ethnicity and perceived political affiliation. This lawlessness provided an environment conducive to torture and gross human rights violations. The violence took the form of killings, rape, and arson acts, forceful evictions and internal displacement. It is estimated that over 1,000 people have been killed, over 400,000 internally displaced/ forcefully evicted, women and girls raped and property worth millions destroyed.

Most of the internally displaced people took refuge in police stations, churches and other safe havens but remain far removed from medical and psychological services, food, sanitation, and other essentials. Most of the perpetrators of these human rights violations are either still at large or there is insufficient evidence to sustain prosecutions against them. Due to the current political stalemate in the country the situation on the ground remains tense but hopeful.

The report of hundreds of deaths across the country has shocked the world. As investigations are being carried out, IMLU, as part of the technical working group on documentation and investigations of Kenyans for Peace, truth and Justice (KPTJ) set out to conduct forensic investigations and documentation into these deaths.

This report is a compilation of the findings of the post-mortem examinations carried out on sampled cases in key violent spots nationwide. It includes a comprehensive review of the autopsy findings and medico-legal inferences and opinions. Also captured are varied challenges and limitations encountered in this investigation and documentation process.  It attempts to show Kenyans and the world a representation of the magnitude and nature of the deaths occasioned by the continuing violence.



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