Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Police brutality in Kenya s demonstrators beaten in streets

Published:Tuesday | June 7, 2016 | 6:00 AM
Young boys walk past a barricade of burning tyres, erected by demonstrators calling for the disbandment of the national electoral commission over allegations of bias and corruption, in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya, yesterday. While demonstrations led by opposition leaders in the capital were largely peaceful, police in the western town of Kisumu tear-gassed demonstrators who responded by throwing stones and witnesses say some people were killed by police. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

Nairobi (AP):

Police rounded up protesters calling for reform and beat them with wooden sticks in Kenya, firing tear gas on them and flushing them out of buildings where they had hidden.

Shocking photos show the extent of the brutality yesterday. In one image, an officer can be seen kicking and stomping on a man as he lies prone on the ground with his face at the kerb.

Protesters supporting opposition leader Raila Odinga had gathered in the capital Nairobi calling for changes to the electoral process ahead of next year's general election.

But the demonstration took an upsetting turn when police were seen chasing people down streets and alleyways and using a water cannon to disperse the crowd.

They even flushed out some who had hidden in nearby buildings, chasing them towards colleagues waiting for them with wooden clubs to beat and kick them as they tried to run away.

Odinga, who was due to address the crowd before police forced everyone to disperse, lost the 2013 election to President Uhuru Kenyatta.

He claimed that polls in 2017 cannot be free and fair if the current election commission remains in place and called for the commissioners to be removed from office.

GETOUTOFOFFICE

"We have said now and again and we repeat here: (Electoral Board) commissioners must get out of office, they cannot be trusted to conduct a credible election,' lawmaker James Orengo, one of the protest leaders, had said to a crowd of about 500 people."

Police also used tear gas to break up protests in other Kenyan towns including Kisumu and Kisii, local media reported.

Paul Wanjama, police chief for Nairobi central police station, said officers detained at least 15 demonstrators who will be charged today.

He did not say what charges they face.