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LSK sets up toll free telephone line for reporting police brutality

Sunday June 28 2020
MERCY CHERONO

Mercy Cherono recuperates at Nakuru Level Five hospital on June 11, 2020. She was allegedly physically assaulted by police officers in Kuresoi South. PHOTO | CHEBOITE KIGEN | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By FRANCIS MUREITHI

Nakuru town residents have welcomed the move by Law Society of Kenya (LSK) to set up a toll free number to report cases of police brutality and harassment.

LSK says Kenyans who have been harassed by law enforcement officers can now reach advocates on number 0800720434.

“Advocates will receive their complaints of harassment from law enforcement officers in the course of their work for further action,” said LSK.

This comes at a time when police brutality has left behind a trail of killings across the country as the officers enforce the Covid-19 containment rules.

POLICE BRUTALITY

The chairperson of Coalition for Grassroots Human Rights Defender Nakuru County, Robert Maeri Nyamweya condemned police brutality and urged the Independent Policing Authority (IPOA) to take action against rogue officers.

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“Its time the police officers who are going against the call of duty faced the full force of the law to protect the integrity of the service,” said Mr Maeri.

Mr Maeri, however, said it was wrong to condemn the entire police service.

“We have officers who go beyond call of duty and spend their money to buy wheelchairs for people living with disabilities,” he said.

He added: “Some patriotic officers at Kaptembwo Police Post are doing a great job. Instead of harassing innocent residents, they are sensitising residents on the importance of wearing face masks.”

He commended Chief Douglas Nyandika of Viwandani for donating a sack of Sukuma wiki (kales) to poor residents to cushion them against the effects of Covid-19

He revealed that some corrupt police officers were taking advantage of the curfew period and Covid-19 to solicit bribes from innocent residents.

SOCIAL DISTANCING

“Dark alleys in Nakuru Town Central Business District have been turned into Kangaroo courts where rogue police officers are demanding bribes from residents despite observing Covid-19 social distancing and Ministry of Health guidelines,” added Mr Maeri.

Early this month, police officers outside Nakuru Central Police Station were captured torturing a resident for allegedly flouting the curfew regulations.

In the latest incident in Olenguruone town, three police officers linked to the brutal attack on a 21-year-old woman by dragging her on the rough road while tied on a motorbike were arraigned in court.

In April, four police officers who brutalised residents in Nakuru town while enforcing the dusk to dawn curfew were interdicted.

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