The brutal deaths of a father-son duo in judicial custody in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin district have sent shockwaves across the country and the globe. On June 18, Sathankulam police admonished J. Bennix (32) for keeping his small mobile phone and accessories shop open for 15 minutes beyond the state-government-imposed curfew of 8 pm the during the COVID-19. Bennix was alleged to have badmouthed the officers, and the angered police officers returned on June 19 to follow up.
Tag: Police brutality
In light of the ongoing protests against police brutality in the USA following the police killing of George Floyd, some Kenyans have castigated their compatriots for caring about problems that are far away while ignoring the same issues in Kenya.
While it is true that many people do not take the problem of police violence in Kenya seriously, this blanket assumption that all Kenyans do not care is not only misguided, it also erases the work of many individuals and organisations have done to fight against police brutality in Kenya. There are many Kenyans who have dedicated their lives to addressing this challenge.
On 26 March 2020, President Uhuru Kenyatta invoked the Public Order Act, ordering a nationwide curfew from 7pm to 5am in an attempt to manage the spread of Covid-19. Management of the curfew by the police has been chaotic and brutal, with both the media and citizens recording and reporting many cases of human rights violations. By end of April, eleven people had died as a result of police violence during the curfew. This included thirteen-year-old Yassin Hussein Moyo from Nairobi’s Eastlands area, who was shot in the stomach on 31 March while standing on his third-floor balcony. Since their inception, measures that were supposed to curb a public health crisis, have only served to criminalize the vulnerable and increase their exposure to police brutality.