The Paris-based NGO devoted to press freedom, Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) also known as Reporters Without Borders, said that senior journalist ‘Arshad Sharif was clearly targeted’ in Kenya and called for an UN probe into the brutal murder.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has calls for a UN investigation into Sharif’s brutal murder and slammed wasting two weeks marked by contradictory Kenyan police statements and doubts about the impartiality of the Pakistani investigators after the killing of well-known Pakistani TV news anchor Arshad Sharif was shot dead in a car near Nairobi.
🇵🇰 #Pakistan: Who killed Arshad Sharif in #Kenya🇰🇪? After two wasted weeks marked by contradictory Kenyan police statements and serious doubts about the impartiality of Pakistani investigators, RSF demands an independent investigation by @UN_SPExperts.👇https://t.co/TfX3fnjahv
— RSF (@RSF_inter) November 8, 2022
“The information currently emerging from the Kenyan wing of the investigation is contradictory, and all independent attempts to get information are met with a wall of silence,” said Sadibou Marong, the director of RSF’s sub-Saharan Africa bureau. “If the Kenyan authorities want to shed light on this murder, they must ensure that the investigation is not cloaked in imprecision, and that it is independent and impartial.”
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“Why was Arshad Sharif in Kenya and, above all, why did he have to flee his country – these are the questions behind his murder,” said the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk.
“The potential conflicts of interest are such on both the Kenyan and Pakistani sides that we are calling on the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Morris Tidball-Binz, to launch an investigation with an independent international team to shed all possible light on this shocking case.”
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 23 October. The information comes from a Kenyan autopsy report published on 4 November. It says that one of the bullets entered his back and exited via his chest and that the other bullet lodged in his head, the press release read.
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The RSF said, “The details have increased the scepticism about the information so far provided by the Kenyan police about the circumstances of the murder.”
“An initial report seen by RSF said police fired on the car in which Sharif was travelling because they mistook it for a stolen car and because it did not stop at a checkpoint. But the car in which Sharif was travelling bore no similarity to the stolen car, so it is highly unlikely that the police could have confused them.”
A subsequent account provided by the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) – which is supposed to police the Kenyan police – claimed that police officers returned fire in response to shots fired by a person inside the car, and that the shots fired by the police hit Sharif by mistake. But this version is belied by the autopsy report, which shows that Sharif was clearly targeted.
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In response to these repeated inconsistences, several Kenyan organisations have issued a joint call for “a rapid and comprehensive investigation (…) so that the public knows what really happened.”
It added that the JIT’s composition was criticised because it is led by representatives of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), both of which are direct government offshoots.
The NGO said that the anchorperson left no choice other than leaving his country following different cases including ‘sedition’, whereas, he had also written a letter to the Supreme Court regarding the death threats.
The RSF called for a UN probe into the brutal murder of the senior journalist.