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Kwale man dies after being 'assaulted' by police enforcing curfew  

Friday April 03 2020
OBBPIC

Police harass Mombasa residents on March 27, 2020, just hours before the start of nationwide curfew to curb spread of coronavirus. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By FADHILI FREDRICK

A 23-year-old man suspected to have been assaulted by police officers in Kwale County for flouting curfew regulation has succumbed to his injuries.

Mr Eric Ng'ethe Waithugi was at one of the local pubs at Madingo area in Ukunda on Wednesday.

However, police have denied the allegations that officers enforcing the dusk to dawn curfew.

STAMPEDE

Msambweni Sub-County Police Commander Nehemiah Bitok said Mr Waithugi could have been a victim of stampede when police raided a local pub.

Police officers are said to have lobbed teargas at a group of at least 12 people in the bar in the 7pm incident after they declined to open the door.

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“He might have been a victim of the stampede, the officers did not beat the young man,” said Mr Bitok adding that the incident is being investigated.

"We urge the family to remain calm since investigations have commenced to establish the cause of the death of their loved one," he said.

Rights organisations Human Development Agenda and HAKI Africa are following up on the matter.

In a statement, Haki Africa Director Hussein Khalid said the victim is alleged to have been at a local pub in Ukunda after curfew hours when police officers raided the establishment to disperse the revellers.

EXCESSIVE FORCE

"We condemn the use of excessive force by the officers which led to the death of yet another person," read the statement, adding that it does not make sense to have those alleged to have been killed by police enforcing the curfew far outnumber those that have died of coronavirus in the country.

Mr Khalid said they have reported the incident to Independent Policing Oversight Authority for investigation.

Mr Waithugi becomes the latest victim of the alleged police brutality in the county after the death of Mr Hamisi Juma Idd who was also allegedly physically assaulted by police officers in Likoni, Mombasa County last Friday. His body has been moved to Kwale Hospital mortuary.

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