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Kenyans protest online against police brutality

Benson Njiru and his brother Emmanuel Mutura

Kenyans have taken to social media to join protests against police brutality triggered by the death of two brothers in Embu County.

The netizens expressed their displeasure about how cases of police killings are treated with disregard while calling for justice for the two brothers.

“The number of youths who have lost their lives in the hands of Kenyan police is alarming. Extrajudicial killings are on the rise since the onset of Covid I9. There’s a need for an argent solution to address the master/slave attitude by the gun holding gangs that is the Kenyan police,” said Apollo Mugash on Twitter.

In a touching thread that was started by journalist John Allan Namu, Kenyan shared photos of people who have allegedly been killed by police officers.

Namu asked that netizens use the day, Friday, to remind authorities of the extrajudicial killings by police in a bid to get the bosses to act.

“We can go beyond this Friday. We can build momentum for a national day to mourn these two and many who have faced this kind of brutality. Burial day of these two, the nation must stop for five minutes and say a silent prayer. We must show our displeasure towards such,” said one Valerie Ojiambo.

Missing Voices, a platform that documents extrajudicial killings in the country have recorded almost 600 killings by police from 2017.

Most of the cases have never been prosecuted, a few stuck on the inquest stage for years with only a few convictions.

“Having suffered a personal loss of a family member from police brutality and extrajudicial killing families never get accountability, hope this case changes this Njiru and Mutura’s family,” said Pauline on Twitter.

Former IEBC commissioner Roselyne Akombe joined the move expressing how heartbreaking it could be for a parent to lose their children in such a manner.

“Heartbreaking as a mother to see the lives of these young men cut short through police brutality. At what point do we say enough is enough,” posed Akombe.

“I’m just struggling to wrap my mind around those boys, each unable to help the other in those final moments.”

Benson Njiru and his brother Emmanuel Mutura used to sell pork at Kianjokoma market in Embu East where they lived.

Njiru, 22, was a student at Kabarak University. His brother Mutura, 19, studied at Don Bosco Technology Training Institute in Karen, Nairobi.

They were out on long holidays and were making some money in the meantime.

Last Sunday, they were allegedly arrested by police officers from Manyatta station for flouting curfew and other Covid-19 regulations.

After their alleged arrest, they could not be found.

The families searched everywhere for the brothers, including at the Manyatta police station, but they couldn’t locate them.

On Tuesday, their bodies were found at Embu level 5 mortuary.

Their uncle Felix Nthiga said the police owned up to having transported the bodies to the mortuary.

He said they had made several trips to the station to ask the whereabouts of the university students, but the officers denied having seen them.

“This is horrific and the Kenyan police must answer for this and all other deaths in police custody and extrajudicial killings,” said Christine Mungai.

She added, “We as youth can’t be dealing with the unemployment crisis, to say the least, and still fear for our safety and lives from the very people who are mandated with fostering security”.


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