Nairobi, Oct 24 (EFE).- Kenya on Monday opened an investigation into the death of veteran Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif, who was shot dead by the Kenyan police after driving through a road stop.
“Our rapid response team has already been dispatched to investigate the killing of the journalist,” Ann Makori, chief of the Independent Policing and Oversight Authority (IPOA), said in a press conference.
“We assure Kenyans of our full commitment to delivering on its mandate,” she added.
The renowned journalist, a staunch critic of Pakistan’s all-powerful military, was gunned down in southern Kajiado County Sunday night between 10 pm and 11 pm, according to Makori.
“I lost friend, husband and my favorite journalist today. As per police, he was shot in Kenya,” Sharif’s wife, Javeria Siddique, wrote on Twitter.
According to a police report, Sharif and his brother Khurram Ahmed were driving along a highway leading to Nairobi before they failed to stop at a road barricade installed by the police after a child and a car were reported stolen in the area.
Ahmed witnessed his brother die of a gunshot wound to the head, the report said.
The International Human Rights Foundation denounced Sharif’s death in a Twitter post, saying the “mistaken identity” claims are not credible.
“The procedure is to immobilize the vehicle or intercept it at a later stage & repel hostilities (if any) by firing on hostiles. Non-violent passengers should never be shot at,” it added.
Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar, meanwhile, said Pakistan’s High Commission in Kenya was ascertaining information from the authorities, the local daily Dawn reported.
Sharif, 50, had been a news anchor at Pakistan’s ARY News for years until he fled the South Asian country for allegedly getting constant threats in August.
After the removal of the then prime minister Imran Khan from power in April, Sharif openly criticized the military of the country for supporting the change in the government.
Khan accused the US of being behind what he called a “regime change operation” over his visit to Russia on the day Moscow invaded Ukraine. Washington denied the allegations.
Police violence in Kenya has been repeatedly condemned by human rights groups, with some 1,264 deaths and 237 forced disappearances recorded there so far this year by the Missing Voices civil society organization.EFE