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Kenya’s High Court rules killing of Pakistani journalist by Kenyan police unlawful

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Kenya’s High Court rules killing of Pakistani journalist by Kenyan police unlawful

Shooting to death of Arshad Sharif by police officers violated his right to life, notes Justice Stella Mutuku, ordering $78,000 in compensation

Andrew Wasike

NAIROBI, Kenya

The High Court in Kenya on Monday ruled that the killing of Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif by the Kenyan police in 2022 was “unlawful” and “unconstitutional.”

Justice S. N. Mutuku noted that the actions of the Kenyan police were in violation of Sharif’s rights.

Sharif, 46, was a well-known journalist in Pakistan, when he was shot dead by Kenyan police at a roadblock outside Nairobi in 2022.

His death sparked outrage and demands for an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

“The unlawful shooting to death of Arshad Sharif by the Kenyan police officers violated his right to life under Article 26 of the Constitution,” Mutuku said.

Judge Mutuku ordered the state to pay 10 million Kenya shillings ($78,000) in compensation to Sharif’s family.

The court’s decision followed a lengthy legal battle. The family of Sharif sought compensation, arguing that his death resulted from police action and that the state bore responsibility for the incident.

Speaking to Anadolu, Sharif’s widow Javeria Siddique expressed relief at the ruling.

“This decision brings some measure of justice for Arshad. I am grateful that Judge Stella gave justice to me, and my family in Pakistan,” Siddique told Anadolu over phone.

However, she said the Kenyan police was yet to “respond to me.”

“I still want all the police officers behind the assassination to be punished and held accountable,” said Siddique.

Siddique was represented by advocate Dudley Ochiel in the court in Kajiado, a town south of Nairobi, as police admitted to the killing that occurred on Oct. 23 last year.

The police had said the shooting was a case of “mistaken identity.”

By shooting the deceased in the circumstances described in this case and … that it was a case of “mistaken identity,” the police violated the rights of the deceased, said the judge.

Pakistan’s top court is still hearing a case regarding killing of Sharif.

Commenting on Kenyan court’s decision, Pakistani Senator Allama Raja Nasir called it a “great expression of the supremacy of law and justice and the victory of truth and justice.”

“The courts of our country (Pakistan) should also fulfill their constitutional responsibility with full integrity on the killing of an innocent person. The motives and those responsible for this heinous murder should be brought forward,” Nasir said in a brief statement in Urdu on social media platform X.

Also read: Killing of Journalists: AJA condemns Israel’s barbarian act of genocide

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Courtesy: Anadolu Agency (Posted on 08.07.2024)

*Riyaz ul Khaliq contributed to the report from Istanbul

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