The Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), a non-profit organization, on Thursday, said the murder of Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif was “well-planned,” Dawn reported.
Sharif was killed by two shots fired at close range. This is one of the few hard facts to have emerged in the two weeks since his murder in a Nairobi suburb on the night of October 23. The information comes from a Kenyan autopsy report published on November 4. While talking to a Pakistani news channel, KHRC’s senior programme advisor Martin Mavenjina, who is also a lawyer in the Kenyan High Court, said Sharif’s murder investigation pointed towards an “inside job”.
He said that the killing raised the question of how did the security know about Sharif’s presence in a specific place at that time and claimed that they hid behind the “mistaken identity” excuse, according to Dawn.
“The Kenya police are guilty as charged. Their excuse of mistaken identity doesn’t hold water because when you file a complaint to the police you give a clear description of the vehicle. In this case, the vehicle in which Sharif was travelling was a V8 Land cruiser. These are the vehicles used by cabinet members, parliamentarians, and VIPs,” he said.
The Kenyan lawyer claimed that Sharif’s shooters were trained for a long period of time. “Ordinarily it is very difficult to get a headshot on a very specific target or an individual in a moving vehicle. Even at a close range, it is very difficult but if you look at circumstances in which Sharif was shot at two places, this was well-planned.”
He added that the roadblocks were placed for a purpose, elaborating that when there are roadblocks in Kenya, people are told their IDs will be checked but no such thing happened in this case, Dawn reported.
He said that the Kenyan police were number third in corruption throughout the world and gave examples of instances where the Kenyan police killed innocent people.
Initially, Kenyan media quoted the local police as saying Sharif was shot dead by police in a “mistaken identity” case. But, later a report came that the Kenyan media had reconstructed the events surrounding the killing of Sharif.
The Kenyan media stated that an occupant in Sharif’s car at the time of his killing was believed to have shot at paramilitary General Service Unit (GSU) officers.
The Kenyan lawyer further stated, “The position of the Kenyan police on the death of Arshad Sharif is also weak,” reported Dawn.
“It is also clear from the investigation that those who had fired shots at Arshad Sharif were trained people,” he added.