Anti-tax demos: Lawyers warning shot to 'rogue' officers over illegal arrests, abductions

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) President Faith Odhiambo. [Edward Kiplimo,Standard]

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has threatened to expose rogue police officers involved in the illegal arrests and abductions of anti-Finance Bill protesters.

In a statement, LSK President Faith Odhiambo condemned the alleged arrests, asserting that they signal a return to a dark era characterised by police using repressive and extra-judicial tactics.

"Over the last 72 hours, Kenya has been drawn back to the dark era of a rogue, irrational police force operating through repressive, retrogressive, clandestine, illegal, extrajudicial tactics to forcefully quell public dissent against misgivings of government, lapses in governance, and more specifically, the contentious Finance Bill 2024," said Odhiambo.

According to the LSK, police have resorted to intimidation tactics against perceived leaders and facilitators of the ongoing demonstrations after failing to impose criminal charges.

The Standard has established that at least five people have been abducted by unidentified armed men, with the most recent being newspaper columnist Gabriel Oguda.

Several other individuals have reported threats, surveillance, and monitored communications.

Odhiambo emphasised that these arrests are illegal and undermine human rights in the country.

The LSK now demands that police and investigative agencies reveal the identities and locations of those detaining the social media influencers.

If the authorities fail to comply, lawyers have warned that they will unmask those responsible and take legal action against them.

The Society has already aided the release of three individuals since last Friday, including influencer Billy Simani and Dr. Austin Omondi.