Boinnet orders probe into police brutality on anti-IEBC protesters

A riot officer beats one of the Cord supporters who had gathered for anti-IEBC demos on Monday. Photo/ Courtesy
A riot officer beats one of the Cord supporters who had gathered for anti-IEBC demos on Monday. Photo/ Courtesy

Inspector General Joseph Boinett on Tuesday ordered investigations into allegations of police brutality meted on Cord protesters.

The police boss said on National Police Service twitter handle that

action will be taken against the officers involved.

Boinett’s directive comes hot on the heels of condemnations by civil society activists, LSK and politicians on the excessive use of force by police to quell the protests.

HAKI Kenya, IMLU, Article 19, FIDA and IPOA have already voiced their concerns over the manner in which the police reacted to the demonstrations.

“We are shocked that male officers invaded and attacked women who were seeking shelter in a public toilet. This is a continuous confirmation that women are used as tools of war or conflict,” Fida statement reads.

LSK President Isaac Okero, in a statement on Tuesday, called for further training of police officers on how to efficiently deal with lawful protests.

"The officers must now be urgently trained on how to facilitate the citizen's peaceable and unarmed exercise of Article 37 of the constitution," Okero said.

Article 37 of the constitution states that every person has the right to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket and to present petitions to authorities,

provided he or she does so peacefully and while unarmed.

The Ombudsman termed police brutality on innocents as “flagrant violation of the constitution and the law.”

In a statement on Tuesday, Commission of Administrative Justice chairman Otiende Omollo said a preliminary review of media clips of the incident showed that the demonstrators were unarmed and peaceful and the use of force

was, therefore unwarranted.

“It is thus clear that the action by police was not only unprovoked but and unnecessary, but also unconstitutional and unlawful, Otiende noted.

Police were on Monday captured on video using batons to clobber demonstrators who were either fleeing from the scene of the demonstrations or were lying prostrate.

Otiende said his office has liaised with the IPOA and the Internal Affairs Unit of the Police to undertake indepth investigations on the matter.

He echoed Boinett’s sentiments that police officers who will be found culpable will face criminal and administrative action.

“Meanwhile, there is need for greater restrain by the police in terms of use of force and management of demonstrations,” Otiende said.

He noted that there is need for urgent dialogue between the concerned parties regarding electoral reforms to ensure peaceful, fair and legitimate elections in 2017.

“Finally, we urge all the stakeholders, especially the cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government to exercise caution and avoid pronouncements that may heighten tension and unlawful actions,” Otiende said.