KENYA POLICE ACCUSED OF EXTRA-JUDICIAL KILLINGS

KENYA POLICE ACCUSED OF EXTRA-JUDICIAL KILLINGS

Kenya police have shot dead 21 people they alleged were criminals since August last year, campaign group Human Rights Watch (HRW) says following interviews with family members and witnesses.

“Police are arresting unarmed people and then gunning them down, and neither the police service nor its watchdog agency is doing much to stop it,” HRW’s Otsieno Namwaya said.

Earlier this year, the BBC reported on a suspected death squad operating inside Kenya’s police force. It was allegedly using Facebook to target and kill young men they believed to be gang members.

HRW said it found that in three days in April, seven men who police say were involved in crime, were shot dead in the Mathare area of the capital, Nairobi.

Police spokesman Charles Owino told HRW that the police oversight body should investigate the allegations

“Any officer who breaches the law must face the consequences as an individual,” he is quoted by HRW as saying.

Police in Israel clashed with Ethiopian Israeli protesters in several cities as they tried to clear demonstrations that followed the burial of a teenager of Ethiopian descent who had been shot dead on Sunday by an off-duty policeman.

Demonstrators were complaining of marginalisation and victimisation.

The Jerusalem Post reports that the protests had brought the country “to a standstill” on Tuesday.

Forty-seven police officers were wounded and 60 demonstrators were detained as police cleared 15 road junctions, police said in a statement quoted by AFP news agency.

“We’ll do whatever we can to make sure police will stop killing people because of their skin colour,” one protester, told AFP.

“We don’t know if this is going to happen again or not,” he said of Sunday’s killing.

In a video statement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his sympathy over the death of the young man, but appealed to demonstrators to stop blocking the junctions.

The officer accused of killing Solomon Tekah, 18, has been detained on suspicion of manslaughter.

A police statement said the officer, who was not on duty, was trying to separate two young people who had been having a row. The two men then turned on the policeman, who opened fire fearing for his own safety, the statement says.

But an eyewitness quoted by Ha’aretz newspaper said that the officer had threatened the youths with his weapon first.

 

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