Police brutality and violence, the high level of mistrust between the police and the citizenry as well as the rising trend in extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances led to the formation of the Police Reform Working Group(PRWG-K). The group comprises Civil Society Organizations whose mission is to end enforced disappearances and extra judicial killings. Over the past few years, the PRWG-K has actively participated in reforms including monitoring the implementation of police reforms and providing trainings to members of the National Police Service.
The increased cases of enforced disappearances which, in more cases than not, are preceded by extrajudicial killings, necessitated a centralized platform where these issues can be addressed and hence the creation of an easy-to-use website that helps document extrajudicial cases in Kenya.
The Missing Voices website is a one-stop database of all reported extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances that happen in Kenya; and explains the circumstances under which the victim was killed and/or disappeared. Through its incident reporting page, witnesses and whistle blowers are able to report live incidents through the website for investigation, documentation and reporting. In addition, the website entails podcasts, videos, publications as well as a trial tracker that gives updates on ongoing court cases.
A major component of the website is the facts and figures page which gives updated data on incidents of extrajudicial executions. The data provided for individual victims include the victim’s name, location, date and a detailed summary of the incident. The numbers on the website however, do not necessarily reflect the reality of the extent of extrajudicial killings in Kenya because of the rigorous methodology that has been applied in collecting the data to ensure that it is accurate and verifiable. A lot of data still remains unverified because of not fitting into the standardized criteria.
Missing Voices contains filters that can be applied while looking for specific indicators such as the region, year of incident and the gender of the victim. This gives a comprehensive research tool to understand the trends in extrajudicial killings in Kenya. For example, some of the trends that can be observed on the website include; informal settlements in urban areas emerging as prime targets; Nairobi County recording the highest number of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in the country; and more males being killed than females.
Missing Voices will continuously identify and document credible victim stories, shine a light on community efforts and voice the struggles of communities in addressing extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances while providing a space for public engagement with law enforcement agencies.
The website was launched on August 31, 2018, a day that also marks the International Day of Victims of Enforced Disappearances.