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Fida to offer legal help to woman brutalised by police

Saturday June 13 2020
naks

Mercy Cherono, 21, at Olenguruone Hospital in Nakuru on June 10, 2020 where she is undergoing treatment after she was allegedly assaulted by a police officer who tied her to a motorbike and dragged her along a rough path. PHOTO | ERIC MATARA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By ERIC MATARA

Mercy Cherono, the woman assaulted by police officers in Olenguruone, Nakuru County, yesterday  underwent reconstructive surgery on her leg at Nakuru Level 5 Hospital.

A nurse told the Nation that Ms Cherono underwent an operation to repair broken bones. Following the surgery, nurses said they had firm instructions to limit the number of people visiting her.

“She underwent surgery and that is why the number of visitors has been limited. She has been given time to relax and heal,” a nurse said.

Ms Cherono was transferred from the Olenguruone hospital, where she was first treated, to Nakuru Level Five Hospital on Thursday morning for specialised treatment.

Only a representative of the Federation of Women Lawyers (Fida) and a few leaders were allowed to visit her.

Fida Kenya executive director Anne Ireri, who spoke at the facility after visiting her yesterday, condemned the incident and urged the relevant State agencies to speed up investigations to ensure the victim gets justice.

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“We have assigned her a lawyer who will follow up and make sure she gets justice. The police officers and all those found culpable should face the full force of the law if found guilty,” she said.

Ms Ireri said Fida will provide her with counselling and therapy.

“We will support her throughout the criminal case and empower her through counselling.”

At Nakuru Level Five Hospital, an armed police officer has been assigned to guard the ward.

The incident was brought to the fore by a video clip that showed one of the police officers assaulting Ms Cherono, who he accused of robbery.

The clip shows Ms Cherono’s arms tied up with a rope as she is dragged by a motorcycle by the officer on a pathway in the full glare of the public.  Three policemen accused of assaulting her will remain in custody for nine days pending police investigations.

Nakuru Resident Magistrate Faith Munyi granted an application by the Assistant Superintendent of Police Daniel Ngetich for extension of time to detain the three officers and one civilian as they conclude investigations.

Meanwhile, a whistle-blower who recorded the video has said his life is in danger.

“I was picked up by the officer in charge of Olenguruone Police Station who was accompanied by another from the Keringet Police Station and warned against recording a statement,” he said, adding that he refused to record a statement under such duress.

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