A months-long investigation by journalist Namir Shabibi and Declassified UK revealed a covert Kenyan paramilitary team armed and trained by the US and supported by UK intelligence is behind renditions and extrajudicial executions of terror suspects.

Shabibi’s investigation was first published by Declassified UK on August 29, further revealing a clandestine Kenyan team has been paid and assisted by America’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to take down terror suspects since 2004.

On the other hand, British’s MI6 plays a key role in identifying suspects for a ‘kill or capture’ list and finding and fixing their location.

The Star newspaper republished the in-depth investigation on September 21. And MUHURI chairman Khelef Khalifa provided an OP-ED for this piece. Republication courtesy of the Star.

It is unconstitutional and unlawful to have a covert paramilitary team armed and trained by the US and supported by UK intelligence killing Kenyans on Kenyan soil.

Over the years, this illegality has mostly affected the Muslim community while our government does nothing about it.

It is a gross violation of human rights that should stop. It is absurd that even the Anti-Terror Police Unit is never involved in such operations.

In 2012, they killed Omar Faraj in what later turned out to be a case of mistaken identity. This is one of the four cases we are pursuing. Kenyan officers who we cannot name are willing to file an affidavit in support of the findings.

The evidence will be presented in court. Human rights organisations have good relations with a section of security officers, and most tell us the renditions and extrajudicial killings are not in order and they are never involved.

It is baffling that government has allowed a covert group to operate in the country, without due process being followed.

We believe that everyone deserves their day in court, instead of being senselessly killed. The Iraqi invasion where millions died was based on ‘intelligence’.

It is wrong, and painful, to have these acts happen in Kenya, actions that cannot be carried out in the US or the UK.

It is not in our laws. Government needs to come out clean on why this is being done. They have been killing poor and innocent people, and most of these cases go unreported.

That is why we, as human rights defenders, have to fight for the rights of our people. The government should entrust the ATPU with the work it should be doing, to ensure we minimise cases of wrongful killings, and due process is followed.

We were part of the organisations interviewed in the report and since we are on the ground, we understand the issues. It is unfortunate that the Coast region leads in the number of extrajudicial killings in Kenya. Most have gone unresolved, but we shall not relent. We shall fight on to ensure that justice to the affected families is delivered.

The Star first published the OP-ED here.