African journalist fears assassination by UK-backed police unit

A top investigative journalist in Kenya fears that British-backed police have placed him on their “kill list”, making him a “dead man walking”.

Mohammed ‘Moha’ Ali, 35, has spent years exposing extra-judicial killings by Kenya’s Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU).

He also revealed Western involvement in the murders, including the identification of targets for the so-called “kill list”.

Now Ali fears the elite security force is trying to silence him.

Human rights group Reprieve has written to Downing Street, urging the Prime Minister to protect Ali, stop funding Kenya’s security forces and undertake a review of UK assistance.

Ali worked as chief investigations editor at the TV channel KTN, until he was forced out by government pressure earlier this week.

Previous death threats have forced Mohammed Ali and his family into hiding and even caused him to flee the country.

The Al Jazeera Documentary Inside Kenya’s Death Squads prompted Kenya’s police chief to warn Ali that the authorities will “come for you, we will deal with you firmly.”

At least 262 extra-judicial killings by Kenya’s security forces have been reported since the start of 2015.

Despite the US suspending its support for the ATPU over human rights concerns, British backing for the police squad continues.

The Foreign Office told Parliament in February 2017 that its support for the ATPU includes equipment, “capacity building in investigative skills, operations management, forensics and evidence recovery as well as infrastructure.”

Ali’s reports have suggested the UK support may also include sharing intelligence and the identification of targets.

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