Police killed 11, tortured 41 during curfew - NGO

Also praised many police who acted responsibly and respected human rights

In Summary
  • At least 41 people were tortured by the police during the curfew.
  • The curfew started off with police using excessive force, thrashing and tear-gassing crowds.
NYS officers enforce curfew in Mombasa.
HEAVY-HANDED: NYS officers enforce curfew in Mombasa.
Image: FILE

Police have killed 11 people and injured 30 while enforcing the curfew to curb the spread of the coronavirus, a human rights lobby has said.

In a report released on Tuesday, the Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU) also said 41 people were tortured by police during the 7pm to 5am curfew period that started on March 27.

The curfew was meant to stop the spread of the virus and save lives but the number of those allegedly killed by police is slightly lower than the 14 people who have died of the disease.


Police spokesman Charles Owino did not pick calls or respond to text messages on Wednesday.

“During this period, we have monitored and documented 41 cases of police torture, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment perpetrated by law enforcement agencies and an assistant chief. Out of the 41 torture cases, 11 were deaths and the rest were injuries from torture and ill-treatment,” the IMLU said.

It did not elaborate or identify the assistant chief. The Unit expressed grave concern about the use of lethal force.

Of the 41 documented cases, 33 are male and eight female aged between  13 and 65 years; 34 cases were perpetrated by police officers and seven by an assistant chief, the IMLU said in a press statement.

The NGO said the curfew began with police across the country using excessive force, thrashing and tear-gassing crowds of people on their way home from work.

“This is regrettable especially at a time when the country is fighting a global pandemic,” the NGO said.

They called on the police to uphold human rights while enforcing the curfew.


IMLU also commended police officers who have worked tirelessly, often in difficult circumstances, to enforce the curfew and other preventive measures under the Public Order Act and Public Health Act.

“We also stand with the frontline teams of medical personnel in our health facilities and public health staff and volunteers working across communities," the  IMLU said.

“We commend the majority of Kenyans who have heeded the advisories from the World Health Organization and our Ministry of Health, greatly contributing to preventing infections.”

(Edited by V. Graham)

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