The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) has condemned cases of police brutality during the opposition’s recent anti-government protests.
The commission’s chairperson, Roseline Odede, stated at a press conference in Nairobi on Tuesday that there has been “a clear manifestation of violation of fundamental rights and freedoms” in the way police have interacted with protesters.
“It is disheartening to witness the escalating tensions and the blatant disregard for human rights and freedoms by both protesters and security agents,” she said.
“The commission has received reports of torture and abuse, the wanton beating of persons even after surrender, indiscriminate teargassing of residents and schools.”
Odede stated that the commission will investigate alleged torture and degrading and inhumane treatment by security forces and urged the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) to expedite investigations into the matter.
The KNCHR also expressed concern about the return of police abductions and killings. The commission condemned the detention of arrested people for longer periods of time than allowed by law, stating that under the constitution, an arrested person should be arraigned within 24 hours and have the right to communicate with an advocate.
Similarly, the KNCHR condemned the breaking into people’s homes on Friday in Kisumu.
“Breaking into homes as was seen in Kisumu and affecting improper arrested while dispensing brutality and torture infringes upon the rights of citizens and violates the dignity and sanctity of their private spaces,” said Odede.
She also stated that special interest groups must be protected from violence during demonstrations and that human rights defenders and members of civil society organisations must be protected from assaults and arbitrary arrests.