Pakistan

Wife of Slain Journalist Arshad Sharif Files Lawsuit Against Kenyan Police

In a significant development, Javeria Siddique, the wife of slain journalist Arshad Sharif, has registered a case against the Kenyan Elite police unit over her husband’s murder. The lawsuit was filed in Nairobi, Kenya, where the tragic incident took place.

Arshad Sharif, a renowned journalist, was shot dead by Kenyan police officers in October 2022. The incident sparked international outrage and raised serious questions about the safety of journalists worldwide. The case has gained renewed attention as Siddique seeks justice for her husband and demands accountability from those responsible.

In her petition, Siddique named the attorney general of Kenya, the national police service of the country, and the director public prosecution as respondents. She urged that the officers involved in Sharif’s murder be put on trial and be punished for their crime. Furthermore, she requested the court to direct the Kenyan attorney general to apologize to Sharif’s family within seven days of court’s orders, admit facts, accept responsibility and issue a written apology at a public level.

The lawsuit comes after reports emerged that the five Kenyan police officers involved in the killing had quietly resumed their duties without any action taken against them. This revelation has added fuel to the ongoing demand for justice and accountability in Sharif’s case.

Sharif had arrived in Kenya on August 20 and was killed on October 23 last year in a shootout. His driver Khurram Ahmad miraculously survived the incident. Prior to his death, Sharif had fled Pakistan to avoid arrest after he was slapped with several cases including sedition charges over an interview with Shahbaz Gill, a former aide of Imran Khan.

The circumstances surrounding Sharif’s death have been shrouded in controversy. The Kenyan police initially claimed that it was a case of mistaken identity. However, Siddique has contested this claim, stating that it was a targeted murder.

The lack of action against the officers involved and their subsequent return to duty has raised serious concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s law enforcement agencies. Two of the officers have even been promoted to senior ranks.

Kenya’s Independent Policing and Oversight Authority (IPOA), which is tasked with investigating police conduct, has yet to make its findings public despite promising an update on Sharif’s murder within weeks.

As Siddique continues her fight for justice, she remains hopeful that her efforts will bring about accountability and prevent such incidents from happening in the future. The international community is closely watching this case as it unfolds, highlighting the importance of press freedom and safety of journalists worldwide.

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