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Kenya: at least two dead in latest protests

A Kenyan opposition supporter kicks a teargas canister fired by Kenya Police officers during demonstrations in Nairobi, Kenya on July 12, 2023.   -  
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LUIS TATO/AFP or licensors


At least two people have died during protests in Kenya on Wednesday, the latest in a series of protests against recent tax hikes and the rising cost of living.

Police in the capital, Nairobi, were seen firing tear gas towards some protesters who set fire to tyres and threw stones towards officers. 

Raila Odinga, Kenya's opposition leader, who lost against President William Ruto in last year's elections, has repeatedly called on Kenyans to protest as the country struggles with debt and rising prices. 

The new taxes have added to frustration in East Africa's economic hub, with inflation at around 8%. The hikes have, for now, been suspended by the country's high court. 

Criticism of police

Kenyan police have been heavily criticised by human rights watchdogs for their response to the protests, with Human Rights Watch (HRW) saying police have used "excessive and unnecessary force". 

HRW and Amnesty International in May said they had documented the deaths of 12 people at the hands of the police. 

Human rights organisations have also criticised the police's assertion that advance notification is needed for any demonstration "in the interest of national security". 

Kenya's constitution includes the right to peacefully demonstrate.

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