Police conduct during the curfew period has led to the killings of half as many persons as those that have been killed by COVID-19 in the country, human rights groups have said.
According to a report filed by the Independent Medico-legal Unit (IMLU), 41 cases are of torture, cruelty and Inhuman degrading treatment perpetrated by law enforcement agencies have been recorded since the curfew started being enforced.
Out of the 41 cases, 11 were deaths while were 30 injuries from torture and ill-treatment.
” We wish to express our grieve concern over the increasing incidence of deaths and injuries from police use of lethal force in the country during the initial 30 days of the curfew that run 27 March to 26 April 2020. The curfew started off with police across the country using excessive force, thrashing, and tear-gassing the crowd of people on their way home from work. Read the report.
Out of 41 cases that have been documented, 33 are male and 8 females of between the ages of 13 and 65 years.
34 of the cases have been perpetrated by police while 7 have been perpetrated by an assistant chief.
The report shows Busia county recorded the highest number of cases at 11 followed by Nairobi with 9 cases, Kajiado with 7, Kakamega 5, and Kwale, Kilifi, Lamu, and Homabay each recording 4 cases.
According to IMLU executive director Peter Kiama, they have petitioned inspector general of police Hilary Mutyambai to investigate and bring into account all police officers who are culpable for use of unnecessary force leading to the injuries and death during the curfew period
“Law enforcement use of force policy dictates that police officers should use only the amount of force necessary to bring an incident under control, make an arrest, or protect themselves or others. Use-of-force should be an officer’s last resort in any situation.”
This comes just a week after yet another human rights group, human rights watch released a report saying that 10 of the deaths were recorded during the first ten days of enforcing the curfew.
Two of the deaths were recorded in Kwale county with the fatalities being a former police officer and a pub accountant.
“A relative and two activists said that just before 7 p.m., Juma, a 49-year-old former police officer who is a motorcycle taxi rider, volunteered to take a woman in labor to Mwahima hospital, Kwale county, in the coast region. On his way back to his house in Zibani village in Matuga constituency, relatives said, a group of police officers, stopped him, beating him with rifles and gun butts. A relative, Omar Abdallah Raisi, said that the police first threw teargas at Juma, a father of four, in the middle of the road at Mkunamnazi, Likoni.He lost control of the motorcycle and fell. Police then just started beating him, leaving him for dead.” Read part of the report.
Police have not yet issued any statement in regards to the latest report.