Gov't suspends exhumation of bodies from Shakahola mass graves

Gov't suspends exhumation of bodies from Shakahola mass graves

Some of the mass graves at the Shakahola forest where bodies were recovered. PHOTO | COURTESY | MINA

The government has suspended the exhumation of bodies at Shakahola Forest in Kilifi County owing to bad weather.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Prof. Kithure Kindiki made the announcement on Friday after touring the area in which more than 100 bodies, believed to be followers of controversial pastor Paul Mackenzie, have been dug up.

"The experts have advised us that the procedure of doing the exhumations for purposes of judicial and court processes involve a lot of sensitivity. The ground must be dry to a certain level so that they are able to conduct the exhumations without interfering with the evidence or further damaging the bodies," he said.

"Therefore we have suspended the exhumations because of the weather and as soon as it dries up a little bit we will resume."

The Interior CS likewise chimed in on why members of the press and human rights bodies have been barred from accessing the grounds and following the exhumation exercise.

"The process of exhuming the bodies is a court-ordered process; It is done based on certain ethical and professional standards, that's why we cannot allow everybody to take part in the exhumation, or to take images," he said.

"Such images are limited even by international law because they constitute outrageous crimes against human duty. These are the bodies of people's loved ones and kin and so there is a limit even in terms of what security agents can do."

He added that the State is also limiting the movement of law enforcement agents who have access to the grounds. 


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