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Strategic Priorities

Support to the Reforms agenda

Support to the Reforms agenda

To inform and influence the enactment and implementation of at least five (5) reforms on prevention and response to torture, violence and discrimination by 2021 Key Strategies / Broad Interventions:

  1. Advocacy for enactment and implementation of at least 5 laws (2 new/pending policies and implementation of 3 existing laws)
  2. Media advocacy on public policy at county, national and international levels
  3. Treaty body engagements e.g. Africa Commission, EAC, UN, etc.
  4. Building and supporting advocacy partnerships at the local, national, regional and international levels
  5. Promoting strategic advocacy networks, collaborations e.g. PRWG, CBO anti-torture movements, etc.
  6. Occupation of critical advocacy spaces e.g. relevant State commissions
  7. Support perpetrators knowledge, attitude and behavior change initiatives
Redress and Rehabilitation

Redress and Rehabilitation

To improve access and utilization of holistic redress and rehabilitation services for at least 6,000 survivors of torture, violence and discrimination by 2021 Key Strategies / Broad Interventions:

  1. Direct and holistic service provision to survivors (medical, legal, psychological and structured referrals for socio-economic empowerment)
  2. Promoting partnerships and networks for routine and urgent services
  3. Referrals for provision of services
  4. Enhance protection of witnesses, victims and HRDs
  5. Awareness and sensitization of survivors and general public e.g. use of IEC materials, media and community outreaches
Social Capital and Strategic Alliances

Social Capital and Strategic Alliances

To nurture social capital and active use of at least eight (8) strategic alliances for the prevention of torture, violence and discrimination by 2018 

Key Strategies / Broad Interventions:

  1. Enhanced engagements with IMLU’s networks of professionals (lawyers, doctors, journalists, human rights promoters, counsellors and paralegals, among others)
  2. Continuous building of social capital through capacity building
  3. Structured engagements with other key actors (CBOs, NGOs, youths, academic institutions, professional bodies) at the national, regional and international levels
  4. Strategic physical presence and positioning in select counties across Kenya
  5. Building a constituency of survivors and families
  6. Media advocacy to enhance IMLU’s visibility at the county, national and international levels
Strategic information for Evidence based interventions

Strategic information for Evidence based interventions

To generate at least ten (10) research products and proactively use such strategic information to prevent and respond to torture, violence and discrimination by 2021

Key Strategies / Interventions

  1. Expand the scope of research to cover IMLU’s mandate in totality generating at least 10 research products
  2. Undertaking periodic torture survey every 5 years to inform programming and advocacy
  3. Research partnerships with academic, government agencies, renowned research institutional, associates and other professional bodies
  4. Develop IMLU’s internal research generation, utilization and dissemination capacity e.g. instituting a research desk / department
  5. IMLU’s resource center for operational, strategic and academic research


Institutional Strengthening and Sustainability

Institutional Strengthening and Sustainability

To enhance IMLU’s capacity to deliver on its mission and goals and institutional sustainability beyond 2021

Mission & Vision

To prevent and respond to torture, violence and discrimination by engaging with state and other nonstate actors in rehabilitation, redress, research, advocacy and movement building, capacity building, and accountability. Vision: A World free from torture, violence and discrimination

On Wednesday February 10th 2016, Justice Martin Muya of the High Court in Mombasa found guilty two former police officers, Veronica Gitahi (former DCIO Kinango) and Constable Issa Mzee,  with manslaughter of 14 year old primary school girl Kwekwe Mwandaza. Kwekwe was fatally shot by the said officers in Kinango on 22nd August 2014. The two claimed that the girl had attacked them as they were discharging their duties and that they (the police officers) shot her after she attacked them with a machete. Justice Muya in rendering his verdict noted, amongst other things, that the “two were negligent in using the firearm against a child.”

Following the questionable and bizarre initial investigations conducted by the police in this case, and amid outcry from the general public and human rights organisations, the Independent Medico Legal Unit (IMLU) took up the matter. IMLU filed an application under a certificate of urgency at Mombasa High Court (Mombasa High Miscellaneous Criminal Application No. 77 of 2014), seeking orders for exhumation of the body of the deceased for purposes of conducting an independent post mortem examination.

The earlier post-mortem examination had been conducted unprofessionally; against forensic medical documentation protocol; and only served to defeat the pursuit of justice for the victim and family.  On 9th September 2014, the High Court granted the orders and the exhumation and post-mortem was conducted on 12th September 2014 by the government pathologist assisted by pathologists drawn from IMLU network of doctors working

Additionally, IMLU in a precedent-setting decision secured an order from the high court to enable the family actively participate in the criminal proceedings as provided for under the Victims Protection Act 2014. This enabled one of the IMLU network lawyers to fully represent the family throughout the proceedings, including providing a victim impact assessment report prior to sentencing.

Kwekwe’s execution by police officers is a clear example where the police officers did not act in the best interests of the child as required by law; a case where a nation failed to safeguard the life of one of their most vulnerable; a child.

While this criminal act attracts a maximum penalty of life in prison, we welcome the conviction of manslaughter, and the 7 years sentence against the two officers, and commend the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Independent Policing Oversight Authority, and the court for speedy investigations and dispensation of justice respectively, and hope that it will serve as a closure for the family and friends of Kwekwe.

We are also grateful to other human rights organisations including MUHURI, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, our network of professionals – Doctors, Lawyers, Psychologists, human rights monitors and Journalists, and indeed all Kenyans of goodwill who supported the process that led to this conviction.

As you are aware, IMLU has made accountability of police officers a key national priority in the police reform process; the reason why we have been at the forefront in the fight against extra-judicial killings and misuse of firearms in Kenya. We are however alarmed that despite this effort, there still remains numerous other cases of citizens being killed by police in questionable circumstances, a clear onslaught on the basic fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution. Unfortunately not many officers are being held accountable for these heinous acts during the police vetting process.

Between January and December 2015, we recorded a total 126 cases of deaths from use of lethal force, 77% of these indicative of summary executions by police officers and the Kenya Wildlife Service Rangers.  It is our sincere hope that this case compels the National Police Service and other agencies to respect the right to life as prescribed under Article 26 of the constitution, and the assumption of innocence until proven guilty by an impartial judicial process, and immediately act to stop summary executions by its officers.

The successful prosecution, conviction and sentencing of the two officers in a record 17 months is a clear indication of:

  • The value and need for strengthened civilian oversight mechanism over the police. While IPOA has proven that this mechanism works for faster administration of justice, they need to fast track to their presence at the grassroots;


  • The need to speedily enact the National Coroners Bill 2015 to provide for independent forensic investigations of questionable deaths While IMLU has and continues to play its role as an experienced forensic organisation, the government needs to scale up this work by providing the necessary legislative framework and allocation of adequate resources to relevant agencies.


On Wednesday February 10th 2016, Justice Martin Muya of the High Court in Mombasa found guilty two former police officers, Veronica Gitahi (former DCIO Kinango) and Constable Issa Mzee,  with manslaughter...

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Briefing Note 1:                                June2016 The Kenya CSO Police Reforms Working Group (PRWG-K) held a two-day strategic retreat on June 23rd-24th 2016, to take stock of the first phase of police reforms...

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IMLU Launches F…

On 28th April 2016 (Independent Medico-Legal Unit) IMLU launched the first ever database on torture in Kenya in a colorful ceremony attended by IMLU donors, network professionals, friends and staff. This...

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The Police Reforms Working Group has strongly condemned the unlawful and excessive use of force and brutality exhibited against students by the GSU wing of the National Police Service of...

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Criminal Gangs…

The research titled: Violence Amongst the Urban Poor in Nairobi, was launched on February 23, 2016 at the Sarova Panafric Hotel in Nairobi County. The study whose objective was to explore the vulnerability to...

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Media Urged to …

Journalists have been urged to be objective in their reporting especially during this electioneering year. Speaking during a Journalists cocktail, Kibra Member of Parliament who doubles up as a KEPHRA...

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The Independent Medico-legal Unit launched its new Strategic Plan christened vision 2021 on November 28th at a colourful ceremony held at the Boma Hotel, Nairobi.While launching the Vision, the Chief...

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KENYA: 2017 ele…

Geneva-Nairobi-Paris, May 3, 2017 – The abduction, torture and killing of renowned Kenyan human rights lawyer Willie Kimani in June 2016 shocked the entire world, provoking a wave of outrage...

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Imlu to Launch …

The Independent Medico-legal Unit will soon launch a mobile app that Kenyans can use to report incidents of torture and other cases of human rights violations. imluweb_backup Executive director, Peter...

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Case Stories


05 October 2017

ABSTRACT This article discusses Group Therapy Model in addressing the long term effects of torture as applied in resource poor setting in an emerging democracy in Sub Saharan Africa. The...


05 October 2017

Sillah Muhia Kinyanjui, 59 was arrested by flying squad unit on 15th September 1997 at Hannah’s Lodge, Pangani area in Nairobi County, where he was visiting his sister who worked...

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