UN Letter Exposes Kenya Police Glitch in Arshad Sharif Murder Probe

Reporters Without Borders, a global organisation championing human rights that uses the abbreviation RSF, has backed an ‘unrelenting’ letter the United Nations penned to both Kenyan and Pakistani governments regarding the murder of journalist Arshad Sharif.

In a statement on Wednesday, the organisation called for an independent international investigation into the murder citing the two letters sent to respective governments by two UN special rapporteurs.

RSF accused the two governments of being uncooperative with the investigation further muzzling the freedom of the press.

The letters from the UN, according to RSF, raised pertinent questions about why the investigations were not successful.

File photo of slain journalist Arshad Sherif


It also accused the Pakistani government of issuing threats against Sharif among other journalists critical of the regime.

“(There was) a distinct lack of clarity as to why the investigations have not yet been successful and the perpetrators brought to justice,” read a letter from the rapporteurs.

RSF, on the other hand, indicated that it had “deplored the many inconsistencies and biases in the Kenyan and Pakistani investigations, and the lack of cooperation between the two countries in their desultory efforts to identify those responsible” from its investigations confirming the concerns raised by the UN.

RSF’s head of investigation desk Arnaud Froger, while demanding justice, termed the letters from the UN, which were authored in October 2023, as unequivocal.

“The letters from the UN experts are unequivocal. There has been a clear lack of will on the part of both Kenya and Pakistan to establish the precise circumstances of this journalist’s murder and identify those responsible,” Froger stated.

“At this stage, the preliminary investigation in Kenya has been botched and the investigation by the Pakistani security services has been very one-sided. In view of the presumed involvement of the security forces of both countries in this murder, only an independent international investigation would be able to establish the facts. This is what RSF fervently seeks.”

Sharif was murdered while in Kenya in October 2022 after fleeing the South Asian nation where he is said to have been critical of its government.

Preliminary police reports showed that the journalist was shot by Kenyan law enforcement officers on Magadi Road, during which he sustained 12 gunshot wounds. 

Pakistani Detectives concluded that the journalist was tortured by his captors for hours before his death in August 2023.

A collage of Arshad Sharif and the vehicle in which he was shot dead in October 2022.


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