Torture: Amnesty International says that the practice is more widespread than ever. It targets five regimes in its latest report

Beatings part of security routine; KENYA
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The Independent Online
Nairobi - Torture of political prisoners and criminal suspects is routine in Kenya, Amnesty said, accusing the police of using a variety of techniques to extract "confessions".

"Common methods include beatings and whipping ... particularly the feet. Detainees are often made to crouch while a stick is passed behind their knees and in front of their elbows. Their wrists are then chained together and they are suspended upside down and beaten on the soles of their feet. Some political prisoners have had fingernails pulled out. Rape by the security forces is widespread". The report details the case of the lawyer Raphael Wang'ondu Kariuki, accused of belonging to an illegal guerrilla organisation. He was beaten for four days until he signed a fictitious statement. He was eventually bailed after pleading not guilty to the charge in court.

"Torture has become almost acceptable among the security services", said Maina Kiai, of the Kenya Human Rights Commission."The police do not investigate by using forensic means, they use pure, brutal strength to beat people. Not a single policeman has ever being charged and the government fails to take a firm stand against torture".

Ling Kitui, who treats victims, says torture is used not only to secure confessions but to spread fear in the community.