A report by the Kenya National Comission on Human Rights (KNHCR) has exposed the country’s law enforcement officers citing them for sexually violating women during the entirety of the bitterly contested 2017 presidential polls.
The report released on November 28, dubbed Silhouettes of Brutality lays bare how security agents blatantly violated women sexually and assaulted their children as civil order was disrupted over disputes that arose after the announcement of the presidential results of the August 8 and the repeat presidential election.
KNHCR in the report says that the brazen sexual assaults first reached alarming levels on August 11, 2017 shortly after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Comission (IEBC) announced the presidential results of the August 8 general election.
“The commission’s hotline number 0800 720 627, which had been publicised for citizens to share human rights concerns rang off-the-hook. Members of the public from different parts of Kenya especially from Nairobi, Nyanza and Western regions made distress calls as protests broke out in the dark of night. Women were calling to seek help as protesters and security agents targeted them sexually violating them and their children,” reads the report.
Consequently, the commission concerned by the high number of distress calls embarked on separately documenting rape, defilement and sodomy cases reported particularly by women who sought to be rescued from their homes that were marooned in violent eruptions as security agents engaged protestors in running battles.
Further, the commission says that the trend continued in the days and weeks preceding October 26, 2017, the date of the repeat presidential poll.
“What started as a few cases of varied sexual violations grew into a total of the 201 cases as documented in this report that emanated from the 2017 electoral violence. KNCHR is cognisant of the probability of many sexual violence cases out there that remain unreported to date,” further reads the report.
The commission however notes that the 201 cases of sexual violence is not an actual reflection of what might have happened but rather is a statistic of the number of people who contacted KNHCR reporting that their human rights had been violated.
“The most affected were women at 96.26% while men were at 3.74%. Demoralisingly, older persons were not spared with the eldest survivors being a 70-years-old female and a 68-years-old male who were violated. The innocence and decency of young children was thrown out of the window with as young as seven (7) years old having to face the brutality and callousness of men who chose to defy nature and pounce on helpless members of society,” reads the report.
According to the report, most of the people who were violated most at times slept peacefully thinking that the agents within their precincts would protect them.
“The violated persons described the attackers as having been dressed in security regalia that is the jungle green uniform type. They could also describe AK47 guns and some teargas canisters that were carried by the attackers,” reads the report.