• Tue. Mar 28th, 2023

Kilifi: Family in agony over mysterious death of kin whose body was found in police cell


Jan 19, 2023
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A family in Kilifi is in distraught after their kin was found dead under mysterious circumstances while in police custody.

According to police officers, the body of Santa Junju was found with a rope around his neck in a police cell. The rope had been tied to a window grill.

Junju was arrested during a birthday party hosted by one of his friends in Kizurini, Kilifi county on January 11. At the time, the officers stormed the venue and gave the deceased a thorough beating before bundling him on a motorcycle to the police station.

“It was around 4 pm when officers from Kizurini Police stormed the children’s party. I was sitting next to him (Junju) when they arrested him. He was wearing a jacket and tie. They began strangling him with his tie until they broke the chair he was sitting on, “Mongo Kiroto, a witness, recounted.

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“There were four but only two were in uniform and had guns. We had to intervene since there were children present. They took the Junju aside and continued beating him up before taking him on a motorcycle to the police station,” he added.

After getting a hold of what transpired, his cousin visited the police station. He was informed that he had passed away.

Police claimed that he was rushed to Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital, but was pronounced dead.

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An autopsy conducted at the facility aforementioned indicated that the deceased had died of asphyxia – a condition of the deficient supply of oxygen to the body which arises from abnormal breathing.

“Both his lungs were congested. His left shoulder was recorded to be bruised and his brain was congested. His kidney and cardiovascular system were found to be normal. The cause of death was asphyxia due to hanging,” the report reads in part.

A section of human rights activists and the deceased’s family have expressed dissatisfaction with the postmortem results and have called for further investigations into what led to the demise of their kin.

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They wondered why their kin was hospitalised in Mombasa when there were hospitals within Kaloleni.
They also queried why they were informed of his death hours after they had called in to know how he was fairing.

“This is the second case this year of a person alleged to have died by suicide inside a police cell. Another victim was said to have committed suicide using his underwear. There is a need for investigations to reveal the truth,” Haki Africa’s Rapid Response Officer Mathias Shipeta said.

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