News in Brief 28 July 2016 (AM)

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UN Human Rights Council. UN File Photo/J M Ferré

Human rights experts call for end to police impunity in Kenya

It is "high time to end police impunity in Kenya," a group of international human rights experts has charged, expressing concern over what they see as an "on-going pattern" of extrajudicial killings in the country.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the three UN special rapporteurs urged the government to stamp out police violence and ensure perpetrators are held to account.

They said the recent murders of well-known lawyer Willie Kimani, his client and their driver, was "the latest high-profile case in a long list of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings in Kenya."

Mr Kimani was renowned for his work with a group that fights police brutality, according to the experts.

His client, Josephat Mwenda, had filed a complaint with a policing oversight body after a police officer shot at him while at a traffic stop following an incident this past April.

Their bodies, together with that of taxi driver Joseph Muiruri, were found in a river on 1 July.

Four police officers have been charged in connection with the crime.

The UN human rights experts said it is "urgent" that the Kenyan Government address what they called "the apparent structural and systematic motives behind police brutality."

UNICEF welcomes report on child detainees

A report on children who have been detained for reasons of national security has been welcomed by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).

The study was conducted by Human Rights Watch.

It finds that thousands of children in war zones are being held for months or even years without ever being charged.

They often do not have access to lawyers or their families.

UNICEF said children should be guaranteed legal rights and protection, regardless of the charges facing them.

The UN agency is urging governments to prioritize children's rights by implementing the report's recommendations.

These include treating child detainees in accordance with international juvenile justice norms and ensuring they have access to counsel.

Refugee athletes from South Sudan off to Rio

Five South Sudanese refugees living in Kenya flew out of the capital, Nairobi, this Thursday bound for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The middle-distance runners were given a rousing send-off by friends, fellow refugees and Kenyan well-wishers, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reports.

They will join five other refugees from Syria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia to form the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team to compete at the games.

The team is being backed by UNHCR and the International Olympic Committee.

It was created to bring attention to the scale of the global refugee crisis and to serve as a symbol of hope for refugees worldwide.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’56″

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