Africans Rising for Unity, Justice, Peace and Dignity has condemned the excessive use of force by Kenya security officers that resulted in several deaths and injuries of protesters during the past weeks as protesters took to the streets to demonstrate against the imposed tax hikes following the recently passed Finance Act, 2023.
The group in a statement said: “We take note of an emerging trend where the arrival of anti-riot police during these protests result to violence, bitter confrontation with demonstrators, injuries and loss of lives.
“We further condemn the acts of anti-riot police officers who fired teargas canisters into a classroom with over 50 pupils in Kihumbuini Primary School in Kangemi, Nairobi. We wish to remind the Kenyan government of its primary responsibility to respect and protect the rights of the people including children at all times as guaranteed by the Constitution and International Conventions of the Rights of the child. Such barbaric acts on children are unacceptable and must be denounced by all.”
They insisted that the right to protest is guaranteed under Article 37 of Kenya’s 2010 constitution and states that “every person has the right, peacefully and unarmed, to assemble, demonstrate, picket and present petitions to public authorities”.
The group added that: “We are calling upon the relevant authorities to conduct thorough investigations into all these incidents of police brutality and unlawful killings during these demonstrations. Every effort must be made to hold those responsible either directly or indirectly into account. We strongly urge the Kenyan authorities to desist from banning the demonstrations, a right enshrined in the constitution and allows the people to exercise their fundamental right to peaceful assembly. As new demonstrations are called for tomorrow by the opposition, we reiterate our call for both parties to de-escalate the situation by toning down on the rhetoric to safeguard the peace and stability of the country.
“Africans Rising calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all those arbitrarily arrested and detained for protesting and exercising their rights to freedom of assembly and expression.”
Michael Olugbode in Abuja