Police in Kenya have been using “unlawful force’’ against protesters after chaotic elections last week, Amnesty International said in a strongly worded statement on Monday.
The London-based rights watchdog detailed excessive police violence in parts of Nairobi and the western city of Kisumu, pointing to several fatal police shootings.
The violence came after Kenya’s controversial election re-run on Thursday after an August vote was nullified due to irregularities.
“What we are witnessing appears to be punitive policing; a blatant attempt to intimidate and punish residents in the opposition stronghold,’’ said Justus Nyang’aya, head of Amnesty International Kenya said of events in Kisumu.
The Amnesty statement also pointed the finger at supporters of both main political groups.
“In Nairobi, instances of police brutality were interspersed with acts of violence and intimidation by supporters of the two main political figures in the country – incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga,’’ Amnesty said.
Two people were shot by police in Kisumu an Odinga stronghold on Election Day, the group said, and a community worker was shot in Nairobi’s Mathare slum while another man in Kisumu was beaten to death.
Kenya’s repeat poll was boycotted by opposition leader Odinga and turnout was a mere 34 per cent, with protesters blocking polls from opening at all in some areas.
Results are expected to be announced on Monday, with a massive win for Kenyatta and further protests likely.