Committee Reports

Letter Urging Investigation into Death of Kenyan Lawyer


The City Bar sent a letter to the President of Kenya in the wake of news accounts of the extrajudicial killings of a Kenyan human rights lawyer, his client and their taxi driver. The letter, drafted by the African Affairs Committee (Elizabeth Barad and Jason Spears, Chairs) with support from the International Human Rights Committee and the Vance Center for International Justice, and signed by President John S. Kiernan, urges the Kenyan government to undertake a thorough and systematic investigation into the deaths of attorney Willie Kimani, his client Josephat Mwenda and their taxi driver, Joseph Muiruri, who disappeared shortly after witness testimony in a case brought by Mwenda against a police officer who had shot him in the arm. After the three left the courthouse, they were seen by a member of the public locked in a metal cargo container at a police post. The bodies of the men were later discovered in the Oldonyo Sabuk River—all three had been brutally tortured. The letter requests that systematic institutional reforms be made to Kenya’s police services to ensure that lawyers can practice their profession free from brutality and intimidation.