He was shot dead as he documented excessive use of force and other human rights violations against demonstrators, in a joint operation of the Kenyan Defense Forces and the police
8 August 2013
The Independent Medico Legal Unit (IMLU) and the National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders – Kenya (NCHRD-K) express grave concern over the execution of a prominent NGO staff and Human Rights Defender. Our preliminary investigations and eye witness accounts indicate that Hassan Ali Guyo was shot dead last evening in Moyale Town by an officer of the Kenya Defense Forces.
Mr. Guyo 39, was well known in the region and the country as an active human rights defender who worked as the Programme Director for Strategies for Northern Development (SND), an organization that promotes human rights for women and children, refugee and human trafficking issues in the region. He also worked as one of the community based human rights monitor for IMLU, and an active member of the UNDP Amkeni waKenya Civil Society Governance Programme Stakeholders Reference Group.
The deceased was shot dead as he documented excessive use of force and other human rights violations against demonstrators, in a joint operation of the Kenyan Defense Forces and the members of the National Police Service. The group of demonstrators was protesting the arrest of the local area chief, Mr Jillo Boru of Funan Nyata by the Moyale Deputy County Commissioner following an alleged attack on a convoy a week prior.
Preliminary investigations also indicate that the area County Commissioner called upon both the police and army officers from Odda town to disperse the crowds and they did so violently, using live bullets and tear gas canisters.
Some eye witnesses have indicated that the human rights defender was monitoring and documenting the demonstration using his camera. It was further reported that the security forces took away the camera after he was shot dead. Two other people were injured during the incident.
The Independent Medico Legal Unit and the National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders – Kenya condemns the excessive use of force and would like to point out that Hassan’s execution is not an isolated incident. Human rights organizations have observed a worrying trend where police and army officers have arbitrarily used force and firearms against unarmed civilians resulting in unnecessary loss of life.
We therefore call upon:
The Inspector General of Police and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions to institute comprehensive, impartial and independent investigations of the killing without delay.
We call upon the Independent Police Oversight Authority to take up the matter and ensure necessary actions are taken against the alleged perpetrator(s).
We further call upon The Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, and Ministry of Defense to ensure that security forces on the ground strictly respect the rule of law and to immediately cease arbitrary use of lethal force and extra-legal actions against unarmed civilians in Moyale.
On behalf of the family of the deceased, IMLU has commenced postmortem examinations and other inquiries with a view of taking legal action against the perpetrators.