Home News The Kenyan police force has a bloody past.

The Kenyan police force has a bloody past.


Excessive use of force. Extrajudicial killings. Persistent brutality and impunity.

Despite efforts over the years to change, Kenyan police have a reputation that remains the same.

In the summer of 1990, Kenyans staged their first major pro-democracy protests. Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of the capital, Nairobi, calling for an end to the dictatorship that was then ruling the country. Police shot and killed dozens of demonstrators.

Members of a youth-led protest movement stormed Kenya’s parliament on Tuesday over tax increases, before police armed with tear gas and assault rifles flooded the streets to confront them.

As of the afternoon, Amnesty International and Kenyan civil society organizations reported that five people had died from gunshot wounds.

Photos of young men covered in blood began to circulate.

This happened in Hundreds of Kenyan police officers sent to Haiti Many Kenyans have questioned the suitability of their police to carry out the mission as part of an international mission to bring stability to the troubled Caribbean nation.

Kenya’s police force is a product of colonial-era British efforts to control the population and suppress dissent. In the 1950s, as Kenyans began to assert their right to self-government, the police and other British-run security services rounded up tens of thousands of Kenyans and hanged more than a thousand. It was a particularly disturbing chapter in British rule, and the award-winning book,Imperial Liquidation“”.

The police system did not undergo major changes after independence in 1963. The police, especially the paramilitary “General Service Brigade” and another “Flying Squad” became a feared force, known for their quick trigger and impunity.

period Electoral crises in 2007 and early 2008During this period, the police shot and killed dozens of protesters. There were even cases on television where the police shot and killed unarmed demonstrators.

In 2009, the United Nations sent special rapporteur Philip Alston to Kenya to investigate the matter. The report The speech he made was shocking.

“Kenyan police frequently execute individuals. Most disturbing is the presence of police death squads,” the report said.

The Kenyan government has vowed to reform these services and has established Independent police oversight bodyWestern donors, especially the United States, have poured millions of dollars into training and other programs. The focus is on helping Kenyan police be more accountable and more effective in fighting terrorism. Crowd control and the use of non-lethal methods have not been a priority.

Last year, during the first round of anti-tax protests, At least nine people died Emboldened by raucous demonstrations and violent crackdowns, protesters on Tuesday were more aggressive than ever before: They stormed the parliament compound and set fire to the building’s entrance before it was put out.

Amnesty International released A statement The results were detailed Tuesday evening:

“At least five people died from gunshot wounds. 31 people were injured. Of these, 13 were hit by live ammunition, four by rubber bullets and three by launchers,” the statement said.

“The use of live ammunition must stop now. We can rebuild our infrastructure, but we cannot bring our dead back to life,” the statement concluded.

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