A human rights lobby group has expressed concerns over the rising cases of police brutality as well as extreme intolerance to the rights of Kenyans to peaceful assembly.
The concerns come after police officers violently disrupted of a peaceful march organized by youthful human rights activists from justice centres in informal settlements within Nairobi.
The young activists were marching to commemorate Sabasaba day and under the theme #SabaSabaMarchForOurLives to call for action against police brutality, extrajudicial killings, and enforced disappearances especially among young men living in in-city settlements.
A statement by Defenders Coalition claims that a total of 63 rights defenders were arrested during the peaceful protest and detained in different police station across the city.
“It’s unfortunate that an estimated 63 youthful human rights defenders from various justice centres in the informal settlements were victimized for expressing their stand against forced disappearances and extra-judicial killings of young people with impunity as well as call for the full implementation of the Constitution,” the statement reads.
Defenders Coalition Executive Director Kamau Ngugi, condemned the violent disruption of the peaceful processions terming the incident as a direct mutilation of the constitution.
“The protection of rights and freedoms extended by the constitution is on trial. Sanctity of life, freedom of assembly and expression are all on trial. Let us fully endeavor to implement the constitution before we think of changing it,” He said.
Kamau stated that police violence against organizers of such a historic event continues to diminish trust between members of the public and the security forces saying the trend is now worrying.
“Whatever the justification the state will advance for its callous action against justice crusaders on such a momentous occasion will by no means save the situation, in fact it continues to erode citizens trust of the state and its institutions,” Kamau said.
“Already Kenya police is struggling to regain its trust as a law enforcement agency following tens of killings and serious injuries to citizens during the enforcement of Ministry of Health guidelines during COVID 19 pandemic where some Kenyans were even shot dead for allegedly not wearing face masks,” noted Mr. Kamau.
Kenyans are now getting tired of the brutality and taking matters in their own hand as witnessed in Kisii County where residents torched Rioma police station to express their dissatisfaction with the conduct of police.
The station was set ablaze by irate demonstrators after a hawker who sells sanitizers and face masks was killed in cold blood by a police officer.
Similarly, a police station in Lessos was burnt down last week, after police officer shot down a man following a confrontation between police officers and a boda boda rider.