LSK wants charges against officers who teargased Langata Road pupils

Saturday February 13 2016

A police officer throws a tear gas canister at

A police officer throws a tear gas canister at protesting pupils of Lang'ata Road Primary School on January 20, 2015. AFP PHOTO | TONY KARUMBA 

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Criminal charges should be filed against individual police officers who teargased primary school pupils last year, the Law Society of Kenya has said.
The LSK also wants also want all police officers retrained on upholding children rights when enforcing the law.

The recommendations are contained in a report produced by a taskforce that investigated the January 19, 2015 incident, in which police threw tear gas canisters at children.

The children were demonstrating after a private developer grabbed part of their school.

The report, launched on Friday, said: “LSK to carefully commence criminal proceedings against the violating authorities.
“The LSK, in the alternative, (will) proceed to seek by way of judicial review, an order compelling the Inspector-General of Police to provide names of specific police officers who were involved in the violation of the rights of children.”
Five pupils were injured in the incident.
Members of the civil society and politicians were leading the pupils in the demonstrations before police intervened.

The report was launched in Nairobi by LSK vice-chair Lilian Renee Omondi.
It established that police used “excessive, unreasonable and disproportionate force.”
“Our investigation has demonstrated how the system is far from fit for purpose and the need to rethink and review the same.
“We have set out a number of practical recommendations to reduce incidents such as the Lang’ata Road Primary School saga and to ensure that whenever such a crisis occurs, State agencies will be in a position to deal proportionately,” said Ms Omondi.
An earlier report by the Ombudsman recommended that the head teacher of the school be disciplined over the teargasing of pupils.
The report by the Commission on Administrative Justice said the head teacher did not take measures to protect the children when police lobbed tear gas canisters in a confrontation with protesters.
The Ombudsman also said then Nairobi County Police Commander Benson Kibue and the Kajiado North AP boss, Inspector Leonard Chea Mayaya, be reprimanded by the National Police Service Commission (NPSC) for negligence in the performance of their duties.