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Kenya to probe into police violence at opposition demonstration

Kenya to probe into police violence at opposition demonstration

Kenya

The head of the Kenyan police on Tuesday ordered the opening of an internal investigation after police were filmed beating a protester lying on the floor at an opposition rally.

Riot police dispersed with tear gas hundreds of demonstrators on Monday marching to the country’s election body (IEBC) in Nairobi, an institution they consider partisan and demand its dissolution ahead of the August 8, 2017 presidential election.

Several demonstrations against the IEBC were organized by the opposition since April 25.

They [political leaders] must avoid inflammatory statements that seem to legitimize violent actions of the police or criminal behavior on the part of citizens.

On Monday, some demonstrators threw stones at police after they began to disperse the gathering.

A video released by the press shows a man in a green sweatshirt fall to the ground while trying to escape the police. Three policemen then began to pummel legs and sticks to his body on the sidewalk.

“An internal investigation is underway to determine whether police officers violated the law by suppressing the riots,” Boinnet Joseph, head of the Kenyan police told the media. He also “condemned the anarchy that the rioters have imposed yesterday to the public.”

On his part, Okero Isaac, president of the College of Lawyers of Kenya, condemned the act. “The officers who violated citizens’ rights are subject to disciplinary proceedings and criminal prosecution.”

Former prime minister in the national unity government formed after the post-election violence of 2007-2008 believes that the election commission supports the president’s camp and is not able to guarantee the fairness of the next presidential election.

“At this point, all the leaders of the country must do more now than ever to engage in a dialogue which will ensure peace in the country,” commented Okero.

“They must avoid inflammatory statements that seem to legitimize violent actions of the police or criminal behavior on the part of citizens,” he advised.

AFP