PBI-Kenya draws attention to police violence in Kenya during the COVID-19 pandemic

Published by Brent Patterson on

The Peace Brigades International-Kenya Project has encouraged people via Twitter to read at an article in the Kenyan newspaper The Star titled Protesting during a pandemic: Confronting civil rights abuses in Kenya.

Key excerpts from that article include: “Human Rights Watch reported that at least six people died from police violence during the first 10 days of the curfew meaning that by that time, the police had killed more people in Kenya than the virus which the curfew and other regulations were supposed to contain.”

“By 12th June, the Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA), a civilian oversight body on the work of the police in Kenya had received over 95 complaints since the curfew started. The complaints relate to deaths, assaults, shootings, sexual assaults, harassment and inhuman treatment among others. Investigation is still ongoing to establish if there is police involvement in each of these cases.”

“Calvin Omondi, Hamisi Juma Mbega, Yassin Moyo, Eric Ng’ethe Waithugi, Yusuf Ramadhan, Idris Mukolwe are just three of the more than 100 people reported to have been killed by police since January 2020 according to Missing Voices, a consortium of community, national and international human rights defenders committed to ending enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings in Kenya.”

“Missing Voices reports that 712 people have been killed by the police or reported missing since 2007 with only 26 having been charged with a crime for these cases which include enforced disappearances. These cases are more rampant in poorer neighbourhoods.”

To read the full article by Soila Kenya, please click here.

PBI-Kenya is part of the Missing Voices network and the Police Reforms Working Group network. It also works with the Mathare Social Justice Centre and Dandora Community Justice Centre as well as other social justice centres in Nairobi.

On July 7, PBI-Kenya expressed its concern about the 56+ human rights defenders arrested at the time of the Saba Saba march. The previous month, PBI-Kenya shared an opinion piece from The Star titled Police must stop killing, maiming the poor. And on March 28, PBI-Kenya condemned the police violence (including the firing of tear gas) at the Likoni Ferry Crossing in Mombasa hours before the COVID-19 curfew was imposed.

During the pandemic, PBI-Kenya has also profiled the community service of toolkit organizers Victor, Jecinter Agunja, Christopher Omoke, Grace Papa, and Editar Ochieng.

To follow PBI-Kenya on Twitter, please click here.

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