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Human Rights Watch Report Reveals Kenya Post Election Killings

Rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) says that a crackdown on opposition protesters in western Kenya in the aftermath of the August general election included “serious human rights violations, including unlawful killings and beatings by police during protests and house-to-house operations”.

The international rights group says that at least 12 people were killed and over 100 badly injured.

HRW also says that police used “excessive force” by “shooting and beating protesters” in a pro-opposition area of the capital, Nairobi.

“The brutal crackdown [is] part of a pattern of violence and repression in opposition strongholds, [and] undermined the national elections,” says HRW Africa researcher Otsieno Namwaya.

Human Rights Watch conducted research in western Kenya during and after the election. Researchers interviewed 43 people, including victims of police beatings and shootings, in Kisumu and Siaya counties; examined bodies in mortuaries in Kisumu and Siaya counties; and visited victims at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (Russia Hospital) in Kisumu.

He adds: “People have a right to protest peacefully, and Kenyan authorities should urgently put a stop to police abuse and hold those responsible to account.”

Mild protests and political tension surfaced in parts of western Kenya and Nairobi on August 9

Kenyan authorities should urgently investigate the crimes, and ensure that officers found to have used excessive force are held to account, the report adds.

On August 11, following the announcement of Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory at the polls, opposition supporters in Nairobi, Coast, and the western counties of Kisumu, Siaya, Migori, and Homabay protested with chants of “Uhuru must go.” Police responded in many areas with excessive force, shooting and beating protesters in Nairobi and western Kenya or carrying out abusive house-to-house operations.

After losing the presidential election on 8 August, Kenya’s opposition Nasa alliance is currently challenging the result in the Supreme Court.

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