December 12th 2017

Top Stories / National

Tigania duo appeal to rights commission, IPOA for help over torture

Douglas Karithi and Joshua Kaberia were arrested last week on Tuesday by a police officer from the Nchiru Police Station over suspicions that they had stolen a pig belonging to the arresting officer’s girlfriend.

By Free Press Correspondentnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comThursday, 22 Sep 2016 11:25 EAT

Two men who claim they were tortured in police custody in Tigania West have appealed to the Kenyan National Commission for Human Rights and Independent Police Oversight Authority to investigate their cases.

Douglas Karithi and Joshua Kaberia were arrested last week on Tuesday by a police officer from the Nchiru Police Station over suspicions that they had stolen a pig belonging to the arresting officer’s girlfriend.

The officer, identified only as Mwangangi, picked up the two men alleging they had stolen the pig and booked them at the station. Kaberia says the officer handcuffed them and suspended them from the roof of the holding cell, then hit them with clubs until they couldn’t react to any further beatings.

The officer then left them in handcuffs overnight, causing them further pain. Knowing that the suspects had suffered grave injuries, the officers at the station arranged to drive the suspects to court very early on Wednesday morning before their relatives could see them.

“They hurriedly took us to court while we were in severe pain,” Kaberia said, explaining that in court he could not utter even a word or even raise his hands.

The suspect claims that in court, the officers rushed them through a plea session and had them remanded at Kangeta Prison after they failed to raise the required Sh10,000 cash bond.

They spent a further five days at the remand prison without any medical attention, until Monday 19th when their relatives raised the bond money and they were released.

“Once we were out, our relatives saw see the injuries inflicted on us at the station and they petitioned the officer commanding the police station (OCS) to know what had happened”, said Karithi, adding that the OCS gave the duo a police vehicle which took them to the Meru General Hospital where they were treated and discharged.

However, the police did not give them the medical records for their treatment, and Kaberia said it was the OCS who retained them.

The Tigania West police boss Joshua Opiyo confirmed the arrest of the duo but poked holes in their claim of having been tortured, saying they should have raised the issue in court during their pleadings.

He said the police will open an inquiry into the duo’s complaint and establish whether the rights of the two were violated by the police officer.

However, residents of Nchiru trading centre say police officers at the local station are known for violating the rights of suspected criminals.

Karithi and Kaberia have appealed to human rights bodies to investigate their case.

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