Amnesty International, rights activists alarmed by police brutality in Huruma
The brutality of officers at Huruma Police Station has attracted the attention of Amnesty International and human rights activists in the country with the latest victims of police force being a two-month-old baby and a young man who was clobbered to death on Saturday night.
The deceased young man was killed in Mbatini area in Mathare Area 10, while the baby was teargassed inside her parent’s house in Kiamaiko on Friday and latter rushed to a local clinic where she was treated overnight after developing breathing complications and nose bleeding.
The baby was discharged on Saturday morning.
The teargas exploded inside her parents’ house on second floor of a residential flat as her father attempted to throw it out.
The child’s father Shem Abdikadir said he was in the house after evening prayers with his wife and the child when a teargas canister landed inside their house and the whole house filled with fumes.
“I grabbed the canister and threw it outside and it exploded again. As I came back, the child had fainted and bleeding from the noses, and neighbours helped me rush her to a clinic where she was put on breathing support for an hour,”Abdikadir said.
“She has been discharged but I was told to take her to Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital on Tuesday because of the occasional bleeding.”
Human rights activist Rahma Wako says there where some boda boda riders on the road at about 7:45pm but officers from Huruma Police Station on patrol to enforce curfew lobbed the teargas into the house instead.
Wako also said three young men are still missing after they were arrested in the area by officers from the same station last month.
Amnesty International’s Demas Kiprono said there is problem at Huruma Police Station as violations of human rights and extra judicial executions are on the rise.
Kiprono said a man was killed last week in the same area. The deceased is a caretaker of a building in the area who died at the Kenyatta National Hospital on Friday after he was shot on the leg by officers enforcing curfew.
He had heard a commotion outside his house and was shot after he stepped out to find out what was happening.
A tenant who witnessed the shooting is said to have been arrested and locked up.
Kiptono said there are concerns about the police command in Huruma and failure for oversight.
“When the president merged the AP and the Kenya Police services in 2018, the purpose was to streamline the command responsibilities. So when cases of brutality and extra judicial executions are on the rise, the ICS should be able to explain,” Kiprono said.
“If you look at the Sixth Schedule of the National Police Service Act, a police officer is supposed to report to his or her supervisor after causing grievous injuries or death and the supervisor to report to the IPOA. This is not happening. It is a serious problem during this curfew where IPOA is not listed as an essential services provider,” he said.
Kiprono challenged Huruma Police Station commander – Chief Inspector Juliana Wanyama – to explain the rise of such incidents in the area.
The station was on the spot on March 30, 2020 after police officers reportedly shot dead a 13-year-old boy who was standing on the balcony of his parents’ house in Kiamaiko.
Yassin Hussein Moyo was on the balcony of their house when a police bullet hit him in the stomach at 7:20pm.
He succumbed to his injuries while undergoing treatment at Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital the next day at dawn.
The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) conducted investigations and recommended murder charges against the officer who shot Moyo – in a file lying at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The authority has also recommended charges of failure to exercise command control against the station’s commander.
Officers from the station were also caught on camera manhandling a fellow police officer outside the station.
Wanyama attempted to resolve the matter at the station but failed after the officers involved in the assault declined to make a written apology to their colleague prompting Wanyama to escalate the matter to her senior – Starehe police commander Alice Kimeli.
When we sought to reach Kimeli on phone our calls went unanswered.