Letter: No routine torture in Kenya

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Sir: I was surprised to see a second article from your Nairobi correspondent, David Orr, quoting from "damning evidence" produced by Amnesty International on alleged cases of torture in Kenya (5 June). This quoted the wife of a vocal opposition politician, no doubt anxious to damage the reputation of the government at a time when cohesive opposition in Kenya has virtually collapsed.

We admit that in every basket of apples a couple may be rotten but it is reckless and irresponsible to suggest that rape by law enforcement agents is widespread or that torture is routine. Kenya does not condone torture and indeed where any law enforcement agents have been accused of having used excessive force in dealing with suspects the law has taken its course. The arrest and prosecution of the individuals involved in the mob rough-up of Richard Leakey is a case in point.

Further, as demonstrated by the recent presidential appointment of a nine-member standing committee on human rights, Kenya has a clear conscience and position on the violation of fundamental human rights and freedoms as set out in the constitution.


High Commissioner

Kenya High Commission

London W1