Kenya’s failure to hold police accountable for allegedly killing dozens of people after the 2017 elections heightens the risk of officers abusing their power during next week’s elections, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Tuesday. The US-based rights watchdog said the Kenyan authorities had failed to investigate accusations of police brutality or institute reforms, raising the threat of violence if the results of the August 9 elections are disputed. “The failure to tackle police abuse in previous Kenyan elections risks emboldening them to continue their misconduct around this year’s general election,” said HRW’s director for East Africa, Otsieno Namwaya. Kenyan police are often accused by rights groups of using excessive force and carrying out unlawful killings, especially in poor neighbourhoods. They have also been accused in the past of running hit squads targeting those investigating alleged rights abuses by police, such as activists and lawyers.