Extrajudicial killings by police in Nairobi’s slums drop after activists call for change

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In Nairobi, families whose relatives were gunned down by police are demanding that authorities hold perpetrators accountable.

At least 21 men and boys have been killed extrajudicially in slums in eastern Nairobi since last August, according to a recent report from Human Rights Watch, though local groups say the real number is much higher. In many cases, police officers identified their future targets on community Facebook groups, alleging that they were criminals, and later shared grisly photos of the victims after they were killed.

Some police officers allegedly used Facebook aliases, such as Hessy wa Dandora (Hessy from Dandora) to warn their targets that they would be next. On another local page called Nairobi Crime Free, which has since been shut down, some shared side-by-side photos of their victims alive and dead.

In one series of posts on Nairobi Crime Free, users posted photos of a young man identified as “Jaguar” and wrote that he “came from a well-off family but still he is an armed gangster”. In another post, users shared a photo of a man named “Jemo” from Dandora and wrote, “Tell him he will die soon!”

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