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Kenyan police have shot dead at least 24 people in the post-electoral period, a human rights body has claimed.
In a press statement released on Saturday, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, revealed that most of these deaths occurred in the capital Nairobi, and mainly after the official announcement of the reelection of President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday night after a hotly contested presidential race.
“These cases indicate that the casualties were felled by bullets and the same has been corroborated by family and community members who have indicated that they were killed during the protests which broke out in parts of the country,” said Ms. Kagwiria Mbogori, the Chairperson of the KNHCR.
There were 17 deaths in Nairobi, while excessive police force ended the lives of protestors in the western towns of Homa Bay, Kisumu, Migori, and Siaya. These western towns are known bastions of the opposition candidate, Raila Odinga, who disputes the results and has yet to publicly speak on the same since they were announced.
Protests erupted in parts of these towns as supporters of Raila Odinga refused to acknowledge the results.
Besides these killings, the human rights commission has also accused the police of illegally entering peoples’ homes in Kisumu. According to local media, the youngest victim of such forceful entries may be a six-month old baby, who’s currently in ICU.
“There are allegations of police entering into people’s homes and beating them up as well as threatening them with rape and demanding money in exchange for their freedom. The forceful entry has been further reported in Nairobi regions…where the GSU have been reported as the main culprits.”
The General Service Unit, the GSU, is a paramilitary wing of the police force.
An officer of the unit has also been accused of throwing teargas canisters into a crowded church in a Nairobi suburb.
Despite reports suggesting otherwise, the police force and the ministry of interior have rebutted claims of using excessive force.