Amnesty international Kenya strongly condemns the Thursday, 2nd June 2022, killing of four people by the National Police Service officers in Masimba, Kajiado County, and demands swift investigations by the Independent Policing Oversight Authority.
General Service Unit (GSU) officers may have overreached on several fronts from reports received. Firstly, they acted without a clear command procedure and were out of their area of jurisdiction. Secondly, instead of de-escalating the situation and deploying a proportional public order management response, they fired live bullets, killing four people. Amnesty International calls on the Independent Police Oversight Authority to move with speed and apprehend the GSU officials involved in the killings and their commanding officers.
Amnesty International Kenya reminds police officers they must facilitate and protect a peaceful exercise of the right to peaceful assembly. Under Article 37 of the Constitution, every person has the right to assemble, demonstrate peaceably, and present petitions to public authorities.
The right to protest is not, however, absolute. We note reports that while protesting the human-wildlife conflict, some demonstrators threw stones at police officers. We remind both demonstration organisers and the police to ensure that protests remain non-violent and lawful.
“As we move to the elections period and Kenyans struggle with the high cost of living, we urge the national police officials to prioritise de-escalating crises to preserve human life and dignity at all costs. We invite civic leaders to reach out to us for support on how to organise peaceful and lawful protests.” Says Amnesty International Kenya Executive Director Irungu Houghton.
Lastly, we convey our condolences to the families of the deceased persons and the entire community of Masimba, Kajiado county, for these multiple tragedies.