Kenya: Suspected police death squad using Facebook to target & kill suspected gang members; Facebook deletes squad's page
A suspected police death squad operating inside Kenya's police force is using Facebook to target and kill young men they believe to be gang members, residents of a poor and overcrowded area of the capital have told a public meeting. Facebook pulled down a page called Nairobi Crime Free belonging to the squad.
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Author: Amina Wako, Nairobi News (Kenya)
"Facebook deletes page of crime buster Hessy wa Dandora"
Nairobi’s shadowy crime buster Hessy Wa Dandora is not a happy person after Facebook pulled down his Nairobi Crime Free page. Hessy Wa Dandora used to issuing death warnings to criminals through the Facebook page. He will later take credit for shooting dead criminals and posting their bloody pictures on the page. Facebook’s decision to delete the page comes days after BBC featured a story, ‘How Facebook is being used to profile and kill Kenyan ‘gangsters’...
Hessy wa Dandora, using different Facebook accounts, stated how his deleted Facebook page had been instrumental in neutralizing the deadly Gaza Gang that terrorised Eastlands Residents. “I personally do this coz I have the passion of fighting violent crimes within Nairobi and its neighborhood. No one has ever refunded me all this money and no one will ever do it,” he stated over the weekend. Former police chief Joseph Boinnet denied any association with Hessy wa Dandora. “The person behind the Facebook accounts is not a police officer, but a civilian passionate about security matters,” said Boinnet.
Author: Dickens Olewe, BBC
"How Facebook is being used to profile and kill Kenyan 'gangsters'"
A suspected death squad operating inside Kenya's police force is using Facebook to target and kill young men they believe to be gang members, residents of a poor and overcrowded area of the capital have told a public meeting. "I have lost two husbands in one year," a tearful young woman, balancing a toddler on her side, told the crowded town hall meeting in Nairobi's Kayole residential estate last month. Others came forward to the microphone to tell similar stories about losing young relatives aged between 15 and 24.
The state prosecutor, top police officers and human rights activists, who were also at the rare gathering, listened as community leaders explain how these youngsters, suspected to be criminals, were profiled within various Facebook groups by "gangster hunters". "They profile them on Facebook, after one week or a month they shoot them, and put pictures of their dead bodies on Facebook," Wilfred Olal from the Dandora Community Justice Centre told the meeting. The posted photos, sometimes showing close-up shots of heads split open by bullets and eviscerated bodies, usually come with a warning that the same fate awaits other criminals. Some of the images are blurred by Facebook but a user can choose to un-blur them.