Firearms should never be used to disperse protests, says UNHRO

police lobbying teargas during one of the Azimio-led protests./COURTESY

The United Nations Human Rights Office has condemned the use of firearms to disperse protests.

Through a statement, Spokesperson Jeremy Laurence said the UN Human Rights Office was concerned by the widespread violence, and allegations of unnecessary or disproportionate force, including the use of firearms by police during protests in Kenya.

“Reports say up to 23 people have been killed and dozens injured in the demonstrations in the past week,” read the statement.

The office called for prompt, thorough, independent and transparent investigations into the deaths and injuries.

“Those responsible must be held to account. Effective measures to prevent further deaths and injuries must be adopted,” it continued to read.

Jeremy Laurence said policing of protests must seek to facilitate peaceful assemblies and the use of any force must e guided by the principles of legality, necessity, proportionality, and non-discrimination.

“In light of calls for further protests next week, we call on the authorities to ensure the right to peaceful assembly as guaranteed by the Kenyan Constitution and international human rights law,” said the UNHRO spokesperson.