Missing Voices Coalition Unveils Alarming Trends in Police Killings and Enforced Disappearances in Kenya: The 2022 Accountability Report


The 2022 report was launched on Friday 24th March 2023 , held in Yala, marked the launch of the Accountability report, shedding light on the Statistics and Trends of Extrajudicial Killings and Enforced Disappearances in the country.

Accountability report

In a significant move towards transparency and accountability, the Missing Voices coalition, on Friday, March 24, 2023, unveiled its annual report on police killings and enforced disappearances in Kenya for the year 2022. The event, held in Yala, marked the launch of the Accountability report, shedding light on the Statistics and Trends of Extrajudicial Killings and Enforced Disappearances in the country.

Since its inception in August 2018, Missing Voices has been steadfast in its objective to end police killings and enforced disappearances in Kenya, advocating for justice on behalf of the victims' families. The coalition body comprising of 16 civic society including the Henirich Boell Foundation, Nairobi  has played a pivotal role in documenting and verifying data on these incidents, conducting various online and offline campaigns in collaboration with other stakeholders and victims' families.

The mission of Missing Voices revolves around data-driven advocacy campaigns aimed at preventing extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances. The recently released report provides a comprehensive overview of the situation in 2022.

The report documented a total of 130 cases of police killings and 22 cases of enforced disappearances in 2022, bringing the combined total to 152. Comparing these figures to the previous year, 2021, reveals a notable decline of 30.1% in police killings and 38% in disappearances, resulting in an overall drop of 31.5%.

The month of January 2022 witnessed the highest number of police killings, with 28 cases stemming from 11 incidents. Following closely, July recorded 21 police killings from 12 incidents, and February reported 13 cases from 9 incidents. Notably, no enforced disappearances were recorded in April, July, November, and December of 2022.

Pangani police station in Nairobi County retained its notoriety, with 11 reported cases of police killings; however, this marks a significant drop from the 32 cases reported in 2021. This decline is attributed to the transfer of 19 police officers from Pangani Police Station on November 25, 2021, following sustained campaigns by the Missing Voices coalition. Kayole Police Station ranks second with 5 cases, followed by Kahawa West and Nakuru West Sub County police, each with 4 cases.

The report comes with a set of comprehensive recommendations addressed to various stakeholders:

To The National Assembly:

  • Ratify the International Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance without reservations.
  • Enact a law or amend existing legislation to criminalize enforced disappearances, providing recourse and reparations for victims and their families.
  • Amend relevant acts to grant the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) primary responsibility for investigating crimes allegedly committed by police officers.

To the National Police Service:

  • Initiate investigations into the activities of the disbanded DCI SSU, including extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances.
  • Ensure thorough documentation in the occurrence book for persons in police custody.
  • Ensure police officers are easily identifiable to the public through uniforms, identification badges, and marked vehicles.
  • Provide comprehensive medical cover, including psychosocial and mental health support, for police officers and their families.

To the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP):

  • Expedite cases on extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in court.
  • Develop guidelines for habeas corpus with oversight agencies, the judiciary, and civil society organizations.
  • Develop ODPP guidelines on the investigation of enforced disappearances.
  • Fast-track the development of jurisprudence on prime responsibility and command responsibility.

To the Attorney General:

  • Ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
  • Operationalize the National Coroners Service Act and the Prevention of Torture Act.
  • Expedite the payment of court awards and reparations to victims of unlawful police killings.
  • Collaborate with relevant authorities to increase budgetary allocations for the operationalization of the National Coroners Service.

To the Judiciary:

  • Expedite and finalize cases of enforced disappearances and police killings in court.
  • Prioritize law reform on sanctions for government officials' failure to obey court orders in habeas corpus cases.

To the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA):

  • Investigate and prosecute members of the disbanded Special Service Unit of DCI for their roles in serious crimes.

The Missing Voices 2022 Accountability Report serves as a clarion call for urgent reforms to address the alarming trends in police killings and enforced disappearances. The comprehensive recommendations aim to not only seek justice for the victims and their families but also to create a framework that prevents such atrocities in the future. The report is available for download, inviting all stakeholders and concerned citizens to join the coalition in the pursuit of a just and accountable police force in Kenya.

Download full report here