Kenya Police guilty of killing protesters – Rights groups
Two human rights groups have stated that Kenya’s police forces have killed more than 33 people during street protests over the August 8 presidential election results.
In the groups’ latest joint report on Kenya, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said some 50 people, mainly in opposition strongholds in the Nairobi were killed in protests agitating over the management of Kenya’s elections.
The 37-page report, titled Kill Those Criminals’: Security Forces’ Violations in Kenya’s August 2017 Elections, revealed excessive use of force by security forces against protesters.
The protesters have been demanding changes to the country’s election management body which was faulted for not following due process in holding August 8 presidential election won by Uhuru Kenyatta.
The Supreme Court ordered fresh poll but the opposition said it would only participate in the election when staff of the election commission were changed, a demand that has been rejected by the commission.
In several street protests called by the opposition leader, Raila Odinga, police had to fire teargas to disperse protesters resulting in some deaths. Police were directly implicated in the deaths of at least 33 people between August 9 and 13.
“Another 17 were alleged killed, most of them in Kawangware, but researchers could not confirm the cases,” the report said.
The report also said that police officers “shot directly at some protesters and also opened fire, apparently randomly, on crowds”
“Victims and witnesses told researchers that as protesters ran away, police pursued them, kicking down doors and chasing people down alleyways, shooting and beating many to death,” the report further said.