Northern Kenya

Residents, activists condemn shooting of 6 people during Isiolo protests

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They demanded the arrest and prosecution of the officers who fired live bullets, terming it a human rights violation.

A section of Isiolo residents and activists have condemned the shooting of six people including a Form Four student by police during anti-tax demonstrations in Isiolo town.

Led by Abdi Nassir and Farah Hassan, the residents said it was sad that the police used excessive force on unarmed protesters who were agitating for their rights and sharing their frustrations over the controversial Finance Bill 2024.

They demanded the arrest and prosecution of the officers who fired live bullets, terming it a human rights violation.

"We condemn the unnecessary force meted on innocent Kenyans who were either protesting or undertaking their normal activities. Inspector General of Police Japheth Koome should be held responsible," Nassir said.

Another resident, Salad Tadicha appealed to the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) to investigate the incidents and ensure the officers involved are brought to book.

Human rights activist Grace Lolim said the government should address citizens' grievances to prevent death and vandalism as was witnessed in other parts of the country.

"We demand justice for the people who were shot and action against the rogue police officers," he said.

A section of Isiolo residents address journalists in Isiolo town. They condemned the shooting of six people by police during the anti-Finance Bill 2024 protests in Isiolo town on June 25, 2024. (Photo: Waweru Wairimu)

Two of those shot were treated at a local hospital and discharged while the rest are hospitalised and set to undergo an operation to remove bullets that are lodged in their bodies.Nuria Bonaya's nephew is among those admitted after he was shot around the waist.

"He was going to buy some vegetables (while on a motorbike) when he was caught up in the melee. He had to put aside his bike and run but was shot while struggling to scale up a staircase," she told journalists outside the hospital.

Another victim said he was from a driving lesson when he was shot in the right leg. "I was not part of the protesters," he said at the hospital bed. Another was shot by officers who were pursuing some protesters behind a supermarket in the town.

The protests were largely peaceful until some youths pelted stones at a police car on patrol while a group lit tyres along the Isiolo-Moyale highway paralysing transport along the stretch.

Police officers who were watching from a distance immediately lobbed teargas canisters at the demonstrators who split into various groups and started engaging the officers in running battles.

One protester was arrested.

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