Kenya: Investigate Shooting of Finance Bill Protesters

The recent shooting into crowds of protesters by security operatives in Kenya demonstrates a blatant disregard for human life and the principles of democracy.

Development Diaries reports that Kenyan security forces shot directly into crowds of protesters on 25 June, 2024, including protesters who were fleeing, according to findings by Human Rights Watch (HRW).

It is understood that protests began in cities and towns across Kenya and online after the Finance Bill 2024 was submitted to parliament on 18 June.

According to President William Ruto, 19 persons were killed in the protests in the past weeks, while he insisted that Kenya police have done the best they could do during the demonstrations.

Under Kenyan and international law, shooting unjustifiably into crowds, especially while protesters attempt to escape, is unacceptable.

The use of excessive force against unarmed civilians who are exercising their right to protest is not only a gross violation of human rights but also a serious breach of trust between the government and its citizens.

Such actions undermine the fundamental rights to freedom of expression and assembly, which are cornerstone principles in any democratic society.

The lives lost and the injuries sustained in this brutal crackdown cannot be overlooked, and immediate steps must be taken to prevent such atrocities from occurring in the future.

Moving forward, the government of Kenya needs to work towards restoring faith in the rule of law and ensuring that security forces are properly trained and held accountable for their actions, as these are critical steps in rebuilding trust and fostering a peaceful and democratic society.

Ruto had earlier assured that his government has mechanisms to make sure that any excesses by security operatives are dealt with, hence, Development Diaries calls on the Kenyan government under President Ruto to take immediate steps to investigate the killings of persons protesting the government’s proposed tax measures.

Source: HRW

Photo source: Sipa/AP Images


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