Ipoa, KNCHR probe police brutality against UoN students

Friday September 29 2017

By OUMA WANZALA
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The national rights defender and the civilian police watchdog have launched investigations into alleged police brutality against students of the University of Nairobi.

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) and the Independent Police Oversight Authority (Ipoa) on Friday said they were looking into the matter.

BATONS

The investigations come a day after amateur videos emerged on social media showing General Service Unit officers clobbering students in their halls of residence.

It was not immediately clear why the anti-riot police were unleashed in the students, including women, some of whom were resting in their rooms.

Video clips show policemen using batons, whips and even kicks on defenceless students mostly lying on the ground.

Some of the students are seen running back to their hostels for safety, with police in hot pursuit.

Ipoa head of communications Dennis Oketch in statement said they would into claims of assault and any other forms misconduct against the police.

“Ipoa on its motion has proceed to and dispatch its rapid response unit to investigate the matter,” he said.

VC's WARNING

“The authority requests for any information that can further investigations from members of the public, including students who were at any of the affected scenes to report to IPOA.”

KNCHR in a statement also appealed for contacts of the victims or witnesses.

A post-graduate student at the university narrated how she was hit by the police until she blacked out.

UoN Vice Chancellor Peter Mbithi cautioned students against engaging in political protests and instead focus on their studies.

Prof Mbithi also confirmed that a number of students were injured during protests to demand the release of Embakasi East MP Babu Owino, an alumnus and former student leader who was arrested on claims of insulting President Kenyatta.

“We ask our students to avoid lawless activities,” said Prof Mbithi, adding that normalcy had returned at the institution and students were going on with their studies.

The VC, however, steered clear of the alleged police brutality.