Oscar Kamau King’ara

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Oscar King’ara was a lawyer and human rights activist who is credited with exposing state-sanctioned extra-judicial killings in the aftermath of the 2007/8 post-election violence.

Through the Oscar Foundation Free Legal Aid Clinic, King’ara worked with the poor and the persecuted. He gave them free legal aid and advocated for their rights in several investigative reports.

Between 2007 until 2009, the Oscar foundation documented more than 6, 452 disappearances and 1, 721 confirmed extrajudicial killings. These findings formed the basis of the report, The Cry of Blood-Report on Extra-Judicial Killings and Disappearances.

King’ara worked with the international whistleblower organisation, Wikileaks, to publicise the report. In 2008, his organisation published another report titled The Veil of Impunity-who is Guilty? Outlining the execution programme. These reports, combined with evidence that King’ara gave before Phillip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on executions, exposed the groups within the police that worked as execution squads.

A dedicated and selfless man, King’ara knew the danger he was placing himself in. There had been veiled and blatant threats from government officials – the very last one coming March 5, 2009 –the day he was assassinated – from the Government spokesman, claiming he was the Oscar foundation was a front for the outlawed Mungiki sect, and promising to deal with it.

He was killed alongside former student leader John Paul Oulu (GPO) near the State House, Nairobi

King’ara’s legacy to Kenya is that one should have the courage to defend those who cannot defend themselves – which he made his life mission.