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Funeral held for six-month-old Kenyan girl 'teargassed, beaten' by police

Funeral held for six-month-old Kenyan girl 'teargassed, beaten' by police

Kenya

The funeral of six-month-old Kenyan girl, who was allegedly teargassed and beaten by Kenyan police at her home during the post-election violence in Kisumu, has been held on Friday.

A Requiem Mass was held for little Samantha Pendo at the St Joseph Catholic Church in Kisumu where hundreds of well-wishers were in attendance to mourn with her family.

She died in coma on August 15, three days after she was sent to the Aga Khan Hospital.

One of the guys beat me and the other one came with that stick on them and hit the baby. Then I left the baby off of my hand because she did not cry, I did not feel any movement with the baby.

Her parents, who were also badly beaten, said she was asleep in her mother’s arms when police forced their way into their home and beat them as they searched for protesters.

“One of the guys beat me and the other one came with that stick on them and hit the baby. Then I left the baby off of my hand because she did not cry, I did not feel any movement with the baby. I said screaming, she was dead,” her mother, Lenzer Achieng said before the baby’s death.

The doctor of the hospital said she “remained in coma throughout” and “never improved one bit”.

The Kenyan government said it is investigating if the baby was actually killed by the police.

“The Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) has sent out teams of high level investigators to investigate the deaths of young Stephanie Moraa and baby Samantha Pendo,” a government watchdog said.

Stephanie Moraa is an eight-year-old girl who was shot by a stray bullet allegedly fired by the police as she played on her balcony in the Nairobi slum of Mathare.

The demonstrations started after opposition leader Raila Odinga disputed official results of the August 8 presidential elections which he described as fraudulent.

At least 24 people were killed in the police crackdown.

President Uhuru Kenyatta won the election by 1.4 million votes and Odinga is contesting the results at the Supreme Court.

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