Police brutality to blame for Killings after Aug 8th polls, shows report

Police chase after a demonstrator during the ant-iebc demos. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Nairobi, KENYA: Report by Human rights watch together with  Amnesty international has shown that after August 8th elections, approximately 67 people across Nairobi may have died out of police brutality

The report released on Monday morning   directly implicates police in the deaths of at least 33 people whose names have been recorded in the report.

In a 37 page report titled  “‘Kill Those Criminals’: Security Forces’ Violations in Kenya’s August 2017 Elections,” written from testimonies of victims, families of victims and hospital workers interviewed between August 9th and September 12th in Nairobi informal settlements , the organizations allege that 33 people were killed in election protests while the Kenya national commission on human rights alleges the number could be as high as 67.

The researchers allege that police carried out operations in neighborhoods where opposition allied supporters were carrying put protests like Mathare, Kibera, Korogocho, Babadogo, Kawangware and Dandora at times opening fire indiscriminately at crowds.

“In another, Jeremiah Maranga, a 50-year-old security guard, was beaten so badly by police that his body was soaked in blood. He later died. In another incident, Lilian Khavere, a housekeeper who was eight months pregnant, was trampled to death by a fleeing crowd after she fainted from inhaling teargas.” Reads part of the report.

According to the report, although police behaved appropriately in some instances, they shot directly at some protesters and also opened fire, apparently randomly, on crowds.

It says, Victims and witnesses told researchers that as protesters ran away, police still pursued them, kicking and chasing people down, shooting and beating many to death.

It also shows that some people died after being trampled to death,hit by teargas canisters and splash of pepper water by the police.

However, according to the police spokesman Charles Owino,the report was disputed saying the findings were totally misleading and based on falsehood.

In another statement by the Assistant Inspector General of Police, George Kinoti, he said that they were still studying the report and would issue a comprehensive feedback later.

The two organizations said they had written to the Inspector General of Police detailing their findings and requesting a meeting but all was in vain as their plea received no response.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch researchers interviewed 151 victims, witnesses, human rights activists, aid workers, and police in Nairobi’s low-income areas known to be strongholds of opposition supporters between August 9 and 13.

Additional reporting by Janet Murikira