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Thursday, 14 September, 2000, 16:02 GMT 17:02 UK
Row over Kenyan prison deaths
Kenya map

The Kenyan Human Rights Commission has called for a full-scale investigation into the deaths of six prisoners, saying it appeared they had been summarily killed by warders.

Police had said the prisoners were shot while attempting to escape from Kingongo Maximum Security Prison,in the Nyeri district of Central Province 10 days ago.

But a preliminary medical report - ordered by the government - says none of the six had gunshot wounds.

Doctors who conducted the investigation say the prisoners had fractured arms, legs and joints, all had similar fractures of the skull and some had their eyes gouged out.

The doctors told the newspaper that the skulls of all the prisoners had been crushed "with blunt objects".

They said they doubted that the deaths had occurred as a result of the men falling off the prison's perimeter wall.

A BBC correspondent in Nairobi says interviews with prison warders indicate that these injuries were inflicted on those trying to escape.

Our correspondent says the report has again brought into focus the infamous condition of Kenyan prisons.

A full post-mortem is due to be published next week.

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