Every arrested person has his/her rights clearly stipulated in the Constitution of Kenya although most Kenyans are ignorant about them.
Rogue police officers in Kenya have often taken advantage of the ignorance of most Kenyans about their rights to abuse and exploit them.
Article 49 (1) of the Constitution of Kenya states that an arrested person has the right – (a) to be informed promptly, in a language that the person understands – (i) the reason for the arrest (ii) the right to remain silent and (iii) the consequences of not remaining silent.
How many of you have ever been arrested? Has at any point, a Kenyan police officer explained to you, in a language that you understand, the reason why he or she is arresting you? Or is it always the only time you know you have been arrested is being beaten like an animal and then bundled in an old antiquated car?
Article 49 (1) (b) states that as an arrested person, you have the right to remain silent. Remaining silent after you have been arrested is your right. A police officer should not force you to talk. In fact, Article 49 (1) (d) states that an arrested person has a right not to be compelled to make any confession or admission that could be used in evidence against the person.
Did you know that you also have the right to communicate with an advocate and other persons whose assistance is necessary? You should know that. You have a right to make a call. Do not allow some dubious police officers who even don’t know what the constitution says to mistreat you.
If the police officers go against these provisions in the constitution of Kenya, you have a right to sue them and seek justice. Again, the police should introduce themselves and if possible, produce their work IDs.