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Ipoa report confirms police brutality against UoN students

A video of university students being brutally assaulted by the police that went viral was taken during the recent riots over the student elections, a police oversight authority reports indicates.

The Independent Oversight Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) on Wednesday said that their independent investigations revealed that the anti-riot police officers brutally assaulted University of Nairobi (UoN) students along Lower State House Road on April 2.

The reports showed that the assaulted students did not take part in the skirmishes caused by rioting students.

PULLED FROM BUILDING

Instead, they were pulled from the Architecture Design and Development (ADD) building and halls of residence as they went about with revision for examinations that were due.

“The alleged assault actually occurred and that the same was perpetrated by police officers deployed on Anti-Riot Operation within the University,” Ipoa said.

The oversight body said that evidence indicated that many students sustained serious injuries including bone fractures in the assault.

NO RAPE EVIDENCE

However, they said that they had not found conclusive evidence that rape actually took place.

Ipoa also said that the National Police Service ought to have taken appropriate action against students involved in criminal actions by either arresting those in the act or through examination of available video footage.

It lamented that both the police and the university authorities were not cooperative, but assured the public that investigations that were still ongoing would establish the truth behind the attacks and the persons responsible.

“Ipoa particularly expects full co-operation from the police in identifying the officers involved in the assault,” they said.

They warned that criminal action would be pursued against any person obstructing the investigations, and also appealed to any member of the public including students who has any credible evidence on the incident to report to Ipoa.

VIRAL VIDEO

Immediately the video went viral, the Kenya Police spokesman Charles Owino said that they had launched investigations, but said that they could not independently confirmed whether the video was captured during the protests at the university.

Mr Owino also said that officers involved in quelling riots were not advised to go to the hostels unless it was very necessary.

“We only prevent them from coming out of the university grounds to cause chaos and destruction. We do not go to their rooms,” he said.

In the past, concerns had been raised on how police handle riots.

RIOT MANUAL

Last year, the Commission on Administrative Justice recommended to the Inspector General of Police to review the Riot Manual to meet international standards in line with United Nations basic principles particularly in relation to the use of force and firearms by law enforcement officials.

Any riotous mob should be commanded to disperse peaceably. However, if the proclamation fails to disperse the crowd, it may be possible to disperse them without the use of force, merely by walking forward.

Should this fail, then the minimum force would be employed by firing tear gas followed by the baton party. This, depending on the crowd’s behavior will be followed by both tear gas grenades plus the baton parties. Rifle fire should be the last resort.