NAIROBI: THE majority of Kenyans fear the risk of torture if taken into custody. This is according to a report Amnesty International, the global human rights group, has released. The report accompanies the organisation’s global campaign termed “Stop Torture.”
According to Amnesty, at least half the respondents (58 percent) in a survey in Kenya feared they would be at risk of torture if taken into custody.
More than fourth fifths (84 percent) of Kenyans agreed that clear rules were needed to fight against torture.
Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for Africa said the practice is rampant across the continent, which lags behind the rest of the world in criminalizing it.
“African governments have yet to acknowledge the problem, let alone begin to rectify it. The lack of strong national laws prohibiting torture in the majority of African countries allows torture not just to survive but to thrive,” Belay noted.
Amnesty has previously accused government of failing to protect the lives of Kenyans in its custody, allowing scores to die as a result of torture, ill treatment and cruel, inhuman and degrading conditions of detention.
Torture and ill-treatment appear to be used indiscriminately to instill discipline.
Prisoners are reportedly beaten if they do not obey the orders of prison officers or breach prison rules. Prisons have over the years been reformed in recent years.
SOURCE: CAJ NEWS AGENCY