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11 bodies, some tied to huge stones, recovered from River Tana in 3 months

Sunday September 12, 2021

Haki Africa Executive Director Hussein Khalid/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya Sep 11 – At least 11 unidentified and unclaimed bodies are currently lying at the Garissa Referral Hospital mortuary, HAKI Africa, a Mombasa-based human rights organization has said.

HAKI Africa released a statement on Saturday following a visit to Garissa County saying the bodies were recovered from River Tana on diverse dates over a period of three months.

The human rights organization said examination of the bodies indicated that the victims had been tortured before being killed.

“HAKI Africa is currently in Garissa Referral Hospital following up on 11uknown bodies, some of them mutilated, recovered dumped in River Tana. It is alleged that the 11 bodies were brought in over the last three months on different dates. From our findings, the bodies were not found in one incident,” Haki Africa said.

The victims’ hands were also tied and huge stones attached in an apparent plot to sink them.

“From our assessment of the bodies, some of them had ropes tied around their hands. We also saw huge stones at the mortuary that were said to have been tied to the bodies when they were found,” they said.

The discovery of the bodies comes at a time of reported disappearances  with Haki Africa’s Executive Director Hussein Khalid pilling pressure on the police to resolve the cases.

On Friday, Khalid visited the Directorate of Criminal Investigations accompanied by a section of muslim leaders and family members of  Abdiwahab Sheikh Abdisamad, a scholar and Horn of Africa Analyst, who was abducted by unknown people in Nairobi.

Reports indicate that Abdisamad, 55, was accosted by four men in Nairobi’s Central Business District on Wednesday. He was reportedly handcuffed and forced into a double cabin vehicle.

The victim’s whereabouts remained unknown as his family continued to seek government’s intervention since the identity of the abductors is yet to be known.

The victim’s wife Halima Mohamed stated that her efforts to find her husband had proven futile.

“We have reported we didn’t get any information from anywhere, so we are appealing to the government incase they know the whereabouts of Abdiwahab, if he has done any wrong which he has never done, he has never been to police custody before, they can take him to court,” she said while addressing journalist on Thursday.

Abdisamad’s wife said the government had an obligation to trace and return him home.

DCI boss George Kinoti promised to get to the bottom of the matter during Friday’s meeting.

Kenya has in recent years reported a rise in disappearances with rights group often blaming the government for executing extrajudicial killings in a campaign to fight terrorism.

Rights groups have been adamant on the need for due process including the right to a fair trial in dealing with anti-terrorism operations.

Kenya has suffered several attacks from Al-Shabaab Kenyan forces launched a military offensive against the Al-Qaeda linked militia in Somalia, in a campaign dubbed Operation Linda Nchi, which began on October 16, 2011.

Garissa, Wajir, Mandera and Counties in the Coastal region have suffered the brunt of enforced disappearances but the government has continued to distance itself from the issue, denying the existence of a policy to exterminate those linked to terror-related activities.


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