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Kenyans stage online protest against police for Monday's violence

Kenyans stage online protest against police for Monday's violence

Kenya

Kenyan police clashed with opposition protesters on Monday, May 17, 2016, who were calling for the dismissal of the country’s electoral body Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for being biased ahead of the 2017 election.

After two previous protests last month which were dispersed by riot police with tear gas and water cannons, Monday’s protest got bloody as the police resorted to beating the protesters with batons after they fired tear gas into the crowd.

Images from the scene flooded social media and news websites showing stone-carrying protesters running for cover as police chase after them with batons and anti-riot weapons.

Leader of the demonstrating opposition party Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord), Raila Odinga, had his vehicle damaged and he alleged that the police shot live bullets to disperse the crowd.

But Nairobi County Police Commander, Japhet Koome, said no live bullets were used during the clashes, as reported by Kenya’s Daily Nation.

The daily also quotes the chairman of the country’s National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), Francis Kaparo, as saying the demonstrations against the IEBC is “permissible according to the constitution as long as they are peaceful and non-destructive.

Kenyans observing online, who termed the action by the riot police as barbaric, have started the trending hashtag, #StopPoliceBrutality, calling for a halt in the violence.

While some on Twitter support the protests, others are against it outrightly, yet call for an end to police violence.

About 22 million Kenyans are expected to vote in the country’s presidential election on August 8, 2017.