Rights group accuses police of theft during post election protests

A police officer engaging suspected criminals in a past shoot out. A report by civil activists shows that 107 people were killed by police in 2019 PHOTO: COURTESY.

Nairobi,KENYA:Police officers called in to neutralize post election protests in the counties of Kisumu,Homabay , Nairobi and Siaya are said to have looted from houses in the area.

This is according to a report titled ‘post election killing , abuse’ released by watchdog organization Human rights watch on Monday.

While police have accused the protesters of being armed, the report says the investigators did not find any evidence of the protesters acting in a manner that warranted for the use of force.

“In neighboring Siaya county, police fatally shot a protester near the town of Siaya and beat a 17-year-old boy to death in the outskirts of Ugunja, as they pursued crowds of protesters into the villages. Human Rights Watch found no evidence that protesters were armed or acted in a manner that could justify the use of such force.” Reads part of the report .

One of the cases documented in the report is that of 21 year old Vincent Omondi Ochieng who is said to have been shot dead by police officers who ambushed him on the midnight of August 11th.

“Vincent and his younger uncle were returning from watching a football game at a few minutes past midnight when police officers, who were hiding at Bar Union Primary School, started shooting at them” Reads another part of the report .

Many of those injured by police officers who were conducting the operation told investigators from the watchdog body that they did not seek medical attention for fear of being victimized further.

In the neighborhoods of Kondele, Nyamasario,Nyalenda,Manyatta in Kisumu, residents told the human rights body that the lights went off immediately the presidential results were announced on August 11 with police officers beginning an operation that saw them smoke civilians from their houses and beat them.

In the Obunga neighborhood of Kisumu, civilians who decided to seek refuge in a nearby primary school reported that they found some of their belongings missing.

The acting interior cabinet secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i has denied reports that police officers were involved in looting, saying that the looting was carried out by criminals disguised as protesters.