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23 Jun 2023

Emily Dugan, Edwin Okoth and Matthew Chapman, The Guardian (UK)

Kenya human rights commission to investigate alleged killings on pineapple farm

Kenya’s national human rights body has launched an investigation into allegations of killings and assaults by security guards at a Del Monte pineapple farm in Thika that supplies most British supermarkets...

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) said it was “greatly concerned and disturbed” by the alleged incidences of human rights violations...

The commission, which was established by an act of parliament in Kenya, also called on Del Monte to “take immediate actions to ensure effective remedy” for those who have alleged violence...

In a statement signed by KNCHR’s head of public affairs, Dominic Kabiru, the commission called on state agencies “to hasten and conduct structured investigations”.

Pineapple thieves said they were reluctant to report alleged violence because they were afraid they would be arrested for theft. The Kenyan police service has not yet responded to requests for comment...

A spokesperson for Fresh Del Monte said: “We welcome the interest from the Kenya National Commission on human rights and share their deep concern at the allegations which have been made and the belief they need to be investigated rapidly and fully. This is what we, at Fresh Del Monte, are doing together with an independent review by a specialist human rights consultancy.”

The company said it believes that some of the allegations put to them are unverified and are possibly incorrect.