Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Kenyans march in Nairobi against police violence

(AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

More then 200 people turned out Monday for a protest in a poor Nairobi neighbourhood against police violence linked to the deaths of 15 people nationwide since the authorities imposed a curfew to fight coronavirus.

The crowd in the Mathare neighbourhood was composed mostly of young people and mothers carrying signs with the names of friends, neighbours and sons killed in police operations in recent years.

“I am here to protest for our youth who have died in the hands of the police without any wrongdoings and we are saying enough is enough. As mothers, many of our youths have been killed while being labelled as thieves,” said Mathare resident Rahma Wako.

Kenya’s Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) reported last week it had received 87 complaints against police since the dusk-to-dawn curfew and heightened security measures were imposed on March 27.

Some 15 deaths and “31 incidents where victims sustained injuries” have been “directly linked to actions of police officers during the curfew enforcement”, it said.

In recent days, cities around the world have seen massive protests against racism and police violence prompted by last month’s police killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man in the US state of Minnesota.

Though Floyd’s killing has not led to major protests in Kenya, activists on social media have seized the moment to highlight the country’s own scourge of police brutality, which typically goes unpunished.

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