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Police killed 12 people in 175 protests in the last 11 month: Agency says

By CYRUS OMBATI | Updated Wed, December 7th 2016 at 12:16 GMT +3
Anti-riot police dispering anti-IEBC protesters in Nairobi.

Nairobi, Kenya: At least 12 people were shot dead and many others wounded during protests in the past one year in the country.
Many of the cases remain unresolved and the violators have not been held to account, a non-governmental organization, Article 19 says.
Eight of the fatalities and most of the injured occurred during the protests for the disbandment of the electoral management body, the Independent Election and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), which occurred from April to June led by CORD.
Says it documented 175 protests in Kenya in the last 11 months.
"Of the 175, Article 19 characterized 51 as violent. Electoral reforms, insecurity, land grabbing and rampant corruption were among the topmost issues that led Kenyans to the street to protest and demand action, said the regional director Henry Maina.
Other issues of public concern that sparked protests include extra judicial executions, poor service delivery, poor road conditions, police harassment, nurses and doctors salary discrepancies and road safety among other issues.
In 2015, Article 19 documented 140 protests, with 36 being characterized as violent.
Nairobi and Nakuru led in protests with 25 and 16 respectively followed by Kisumu with 10, Machakos 8 and Kakamega 7 among other counties.
According to the report, election reforms and insecurity witnessed 22 and 20 protests followed by land grabbing and escalation of corruption at 19 and 18 protests respectively.
During most of the protests, police used lethal force not limited to tear gas, water cannons, rubber and live bullets to contain the demonstrations in total violation of their constitutional mandate of facilitating the right to protest.
The use of lethal weapon according to top police officials was justifiably necessary under Public Order Act CAP 56 of the Laws of Kenya.
Many protesters and non-protesters sustained injuries and fatalities and as accounts from monitors and eyewitnesses indicate police violated critical parts of this Act especially regarding the use of force against protesters who were largely unarmed and peaceful, said Maina.
He said despite the promises by the Inspector General of Police, Mr Joseph Boinett, to launch investigation into these violations five months ago, neither has a substantive report been made public nor the findings.
"Yet many more protests are being violently disrupted including the ongoing medical practitioners demonstrations. This is a worrisome trend ahead of the general election in August 2017, "said Maina.
The victims were not part of the protests.
On June 5, Jeremy Otieno, a four year-old kindergarten pupil was shot in the back while seated on the couch inside their house in Ogango, Manyatta estate, Kisumu county.
Joseph Njoroge, a student at Highway secondary school, Mary Akinyi a businesswoman and John Odipo, an elderly man, were among those who sustained bullet wounds as a result of gunshot wounds inflicted by police officers as they violently engaged with protesters across the country.
The agency wants a pathway into re-starting the discussion on guidelines for management of public assemblies and protests in Kenya.



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