More than one dozen people have been killed by police in Kenya during a dusk to dawn curfew to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the country’s Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) said Tuesday.
”After preliminary investigations, 15 deaths and 31 incidents where victims sustained injuries have directly been linked to actions of police officers during the curfew enforcement,” IPOA chairwoman Anne Makori was quoted by The Star newspaper. “The Authority has dispatched Rapid Response teams to establish the circumstances that led to six other fatalities in the latest incidents.”
The IPOA, the only authority that holds police accountable for crimes, noted 87 complaints against police have been reported since the end of March.
The latest death was a homeless man from the Mathare slums who was killed Monday for allegedly violating the curfew.
Yassin Hussein Moyo, 13, was also killed by police while on his balcony after the curfew began.
The Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji approved the arrest of the officer who killed Yassin.
With 72 new cases, Kenya has 2,093 diagnosed infections as of Tuesday with 71 fatalities.
Hundreds of demonstrators from Mathare protested Tuesday, demanding an end to police killings.
Human Rights Watch said police have broken into homes and shops and extorted money from residents or looted food in locations across the country.
”It is shocking that people are losing their lives and livelihoods while supposedly being protected from infection,” said Otsieno Namwaya, senior Africa researcher at the rights group. “Police brutality isn’t just unlawful; it is also counterproductive in fighting the spread of the virus.”
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