CHRISTIANITY DAILY

IJM Human Rights Lawyer, Client, Taxi Driver Who Were Abducted Found Murdered in Kenya

Nairobi
(Photo : afromusing/wikimedia/CC) The city of Nairobi.

A Kenyan human rights lawyer who was abducted in Nairobi, along with the client he was defending, and a taxi driver, were found murdered in the northeast part of the city.

Willie Kimani, a lawyer working with International Justice Mission (IJM), his 24-year-old client Josephat Mwende, and taxi driver Joseph Muiruir were abducted on June 23. Their were found in Ol-Donyo Sabuk River in Nairobi, the IJM announced in a press release.

"We are deeply mourning the loss of our colleague, Willie, and taxi driver, Joseph, and strongly condemn the perpetrators of these murders and the horrific violence inflicted upon these men," said Gary Haugen, CEO of International Justice Mission. "IJM exists to protect the poor from violence, and Willie's life was taken while courageously pursuing that mission."

In April last year, a police officer had shot Mwende accidentally at a traffic stop, and then admitted him at a hospital for treatment. But when he complained, the police officer filed charges of six traffic offenses against him, which included riding a bike without helmet.

In February this year, new charges were framed against him including a violent robbery, being in possession of drugs, gambling, and resisting police arrest.

Mwenda took the matter to court, and received help from IJM.

"The police charged our client with what we believe were false charges related to drug possession and possession of a weapon," said Eric Ha, general counsel at IJM.

The taxi in which they were traveling was found over 30 miles away at a tea-plantation village on June 24.

The police officers at the base claim that they never saw the three men.

The New York Times reported that the investigation of this case is being carried out by an elite unit that goes by the name of 'Flying Squad,' which will examine the roadside CCTV footage and phone records to find out how the men were kidnapped and who abducted them. No arrests have been made as of yet.

Diplomats in the US and Kenya are also monitoring the case.

Tags Willie Kimani, Josephat Mwende, Joseph Muiruir, International Justice Mission

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