II. Half-hearted national efforts toward accountability.
III. Government prosecutions of "priority" cases and other serious crimes: a failure.
IV. Weaknesses in investigations and prosecutions.
V. Impunity for police shootings and misconduct.
VI. Status of reforms, steps required, and the case for a special mechanism.
Four years after the onset of Kenya's 2007-2008 post-election violence, the government has done little to ensure justice for victims. It has failed to ensure the prosecution of perpetrators in all but a handful of the 1,133 or more killings committed during the violence, which pitted ruling party supporters and the police against armed groups linked with the opposition. Victims of rape, assault, arson, and other crimes similarly await justice. The International Criminal Court has opened cases against six high-profile suspects, but hundreds of other perpetrators of serious crimes continue to evade accountability. This report documents the difficulties faced by election violence victims in obtaining access to justice in Kenya. It identifies the principal weaknesses within the criminal justice system that have contributed to the paltry number of convictions, including police officers' unwillingness to investigate and prosecute their colleagues; the generally poor quality of investigations; weaknesses within the police prosecution system; political influence and corruption that subverts the judicial process; and the absence of an operative witness protection system. Human Rights Watch calls on the government of Kenya to establish a special judicial mechanism within the Kenyan justice system to investigate and prosecute the most serious election-related crimes. The government should also urgently fund the Witness Protection Agency and fast-track reforms to improve the quality and the independence of policing and prosecutions. Providing redress for victims of post-election violence is a requirement, not an option. Nearly four years after the violence, victims have been waiting for justice for far too long.