Kenya: HRW calls for probe into police role in election violence

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Human Rights Watch (HRW) is calling for an investigation into the role of police during election violence earlier this month.

The rights group says at least 12 people were killed and more than 100 badly injured in the days following the election. In a report, it cites human rights violations, unlawful killings and police brutality during the election and the days following it.

 

‘Brutal crackdown’

HRW is urging Kenyan authorities to “urgently” investigate police actions during this month’s election and hold the officers guilty of misconduct accountable.

“The brutal crackdown on protesters and residents in the western counties, part of a pattern of violence and repression in opposition strongholds, undermined the national elections,” said Otsieno Namwaya, Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch.

“People have a right to protest peacefully, and Kenyan authorities should urgently put a stop to police abuse and hold those responsible to account.”

 

Dozens killed

HRW says at least 12 people were killed by police during and after the election but suggests the actual figure will be much higher. On August 12, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights reported that a minimum of 24 people had been killed by police.

On August 11 and 12, police conducted house-to-house operations in parts of western Kenya. Residents say the officers sought out any men in the households and beat or shot them.

Live shots were also fired at protesters in parts of the country and there are reports of some officers stealing goods from properties and demanding money from residents.

 

Featured image: “Kenya Police” flickr photo by theglobalpanorama https://flickr.com/photos/121483302@N02/14852225919 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.