KENYA: Rights Group Condemn Post Election Police Brutality

NAIROBI OCTOBER 10, 2017 (CISA) – The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) has criticized the use of excessive force by the police after the August 8 General Elections which they say left 37 dead and 126 people injured.

In a report dubbed Mirage at Dusk: A Human Rights Account of the 2017 General Election, the commission said 35 people were killed by the police while quelling protests immediately after President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner of August 8 polls, which were later annulled by the Supreme Court.

“Except for two cases caused by civilians, the rest were allegedly because of excessive use of force by police,” KNCHR chairperson Kagwiria Mbogori said while unveiling the report in Nairobi.

According to the report, a total of 27 people were killed in Nairobi, three in Kisumu, three in Tana River, two in Siaya and one each in Homa Bay and Elgeyo-Marakwet counties.

The report said the dead, included seven minors; three girls and four boys, and the youngest was six-month-old Samantha Pendo, who succumbed to injuries after being clobbered at home in Kisumu’s Nyalenda slum.

“While the commission was not able to determine whether the action to use force by security agents was predetermined and targeted, it is clear from our analysis that majority of the victims were from one ethnic community and from informal settlements,” it adds.

The commission also noted that there were electoral malpractices such misuse of state resources and bribery of voters during the campaign period as well as negative-tribalism where some politicians continued to play the ethnic-hatred card as a campaign and voter-mobilization tool.

KNCHR stated that a number of human rights groups, notably AfriCog and the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) were singled out and targeted by the state, “…for their stance which challenged the credibility of the presidential election outcome.”

The Commission also condemned attacks on the Judiciary, especially from the political class, saying the attacks have now trickled down to the citizenry and are being actively reflected on social media.

“Desist from making irresponsible utterances especially in social media, engaging in hate speech or violent behavior,” the commission urged citizens.

KNCHR further called on the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to conduct the fresh presidential elections in strict compliance with the majority decision of the Supreme Court judgment in order to avoid a Constitutional crisis.