The US has disapproved the actions of Kenya police for the excessive force used in dealing with demonstrators on Monday.
An emailed statement goes on:
“We urge the security services to exercise restraint during demonstrations and to protect the rights of free speech, assembly, and political participation guaranteed by the Kenyan constitution.”
The Western authority they got offended by the actions seen in pictures and films. On the bright side, the US authority says they welcome an investigation announced by the police chief into the police reaction.
Police chief Joseph Boinnet has said there will be an investigation into the police reaction to Monday’s opposition demonstration (see 13.09 entry).
There are reports that one demonstrator has died, but the police have not released a statement on the development. The police chief’s spokesperson George Kinoti has also revealed that police officers were also wounded during the clash with protesters.
The police say their officers were trying to deal with people who were rioting and looting.
Additionally, constitutional expert Yash Pal Ghai has called on the National Police Service to desist from state bondage and exert its constitutional independence. He said the police is not an extension of the state since their power and authority are gotten from the people and the constitution.
Quoting Prof Ghai, director of Katiba Institute:
“The police are no longer under the absolute authority of the government, their independence being a fundamental constitutional principle”.
Police he says, are seen by the public as suppressing them so as to impress the rich and powerful.
Making reference to the constitution, he stated the duties of security agencies as to protect human rights and maintain law and order. Ghai said:
“The relationship between the police and the public goes back to the colonial period when the primary purpose of the police was to suppress Africans in the interests of colonial power and European settlers,”
The expert spoke on Tuesday during the launch of a handbook titled “101 Things You Wanted To Know About the Police and Were Too Afraid To Ask.”
The booklet, published by the Katiba Institute and the Commonwealth Human Rights Institute with support from the Danish Embassy in Kenya, seeks to educate the police of their rights and responsibilities as they perform their duties.
What’s more striking about the book is that it comes just when police are facing sharp castigation for alleged violations of human rights by use of “excessive and unnecessary” force against anti-IEBC protesters on Monday, May 16.
The book is approved by the National Police Service Commission and the Independent Police Oversight Authority.