The UN Human Rights Office has expressed grave concern over the alleged police brutality during the recent Azimio protests, calling for immediate investigations into the matter.
According to spokesperson Jeremy Laurence, 23 individuals have lost their lives during the demonstrations, while numerous others have sustained injuries.
In a statement issued on Friday, Laurence strongly condemned the disproportionate use of force by the police and emphasized the need for accountability.
He urged for prompt, thorough, independent, and transparent investigations into the deaths and injuries, asserting that those responsible must be held accountable for their actions.
Additionally, Laurence emphasized the importance of adopting effective measures to prevent further casualties and injuries.
The upcoming protests scheduled by Azimio have prompted Laurence to call upon the authorities to uphold Kenyans’ rights as stated in Article 37 of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to peaceful assembly and demonstration.
He emphasized that individuals should be allowed to exercise these rights without fear of violence or retribution.
Laurence stressed that the use of live ammunition by the police against protesters is unacceptable. Policing of demonstrations should prioritize facilitating peaceful assemblies, and any use of force must adhere to the principles of legality, necessity, proportionality, and non-discrimination.
The UN Human Rights Office appealed to both the government and the opposition to engage in dialogue and address the grievances expressed during the protests.
Laurence emphasized the importance of maintaining calm and fostering open discussions to address social, economic, and political concerns. The goal is to identify lasting solutions that benefit all Kenyans.
In a separate development, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights reported that nine people lost their lives during Wednesday’s protests, with eight of them sustaining fatal gunshot wounds.
Allegedly, police officers were responsible for shooting and killing individuals in various locations, including Mlolongo, Kitengela, Juja Road, and Emali in Makueni County.