8,000 Kenyans Killed by Cops, Lawyers Say

Police call charges against outlaw sect 'fictitious'
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2007 8:30 PM CST
A woman tries to extinguish a burning taxi during fighting between police and the Mungiki sect, Thursday, June 7, 2007 in the Mathare slum in Nairobi, Kenya. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Kenyan cops have killed or fatally tortured more than 8,000 youth since 2002, human rights lawyers charged today. The deaths, along with 4,000 cases of missing men, are allegedly part of a state crackdown on the Mungiki—an outlawed sect the government blames for gang violence. Police have dismissed the report as “fictitious” and “a document not worth responding to.”

The charges come only a month before Kenya's elections, which pit President Kibaki against an opponent who vows to eliminate the Mungiki. The sect, which spread leaflets and vowed to upset the elections this summer, now claims it wants peace with the government.