Kenyan court orders its govt to pay compensation to Arshad Sharif’s family

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Kenyan court orders its govt to pay compensation to Arshad Sharif's family

Shooting of Pakistani journalist by police in 2022 was arbitrary and unconstitutional, court rules

Nairobi, JUL 8: The bereaved family of slain Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif has been awarded 10 million Kenyan Shilling (Rs 21.7 million) by the High Court in Kenya’s Kajiado County as compensation, NTV Kenya reported.

On October 23, 2022 , Sharif was shot dead by Kenyan police at Tinga area in Kajiado County in what the police later described as a case of “mistaken identity”.

The award followed a ruling by the Kenyan High Court, which stated that the shooting of Sharif in Kajiado by police was “arbitrary and unconstitutional”.

Justice Stella Mutuku said the shooting violated the journalist’s “right to life, right to equal benefit and protection of the law and right dignity, among others,” NTV Kenya reported.

Additionally, the judge ordered the government to pay the family Sh10 million as compensation for the loss of life, although she suspended the monetary compensation for 30 days to allow the government appeal against the decision.

“In view of the analysis above, I find that the respondents, jointly and severally through their actions violated the rights of the petitioners,” the judge said.

She added that the family should be updated on the status of the investigations and appropriate action be taken against the police officers found culpable.

The ruling came after Sharif’s widow, Javeria Sidique, sued Kenyan officials, accusing them of delaying investigations into the shooting and keeping the family in the dark concerning the probe.

The officials sued included Attorney General Justin Muturi, Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Renson Ingonga and the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA), among others.

Sharif was a passenger in a vehicle when he was killed and the police claimed to have mistaken his vehicle for a different that they had been trailing, which was allegedly stolen from Pangani.

The following day, the judge said the police boss admitted that officers had “fatally wounded” Sharif in a case of “mistaken identity”.

The court ruled that Sharif was subjected to torture as his life was cut short without a just cause.