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HomeLatest News39 died, over 350 injured in Kenya’s anti-tax protests

39 died, over 350 injured in Kenya’s anti-tax protests

At least 39 people were killed and 361 were injured in anti-government protests against the new tax hike in Kenya, according to the Kenya national commission on human rights.
The country’s human rights released data on Monday stating that it is cumulative from June 18 to July 1 2024. Post mortems for most of the victims are yet to be conducted.
“The Commission continues to condemn in the strongest terms possible the unwarranted violence and force that was inflicted on protesters, medical personnel, lawyers, journalists, and on safe spaces such as churches, medical emergency centres and ambulances.We maintain that the force used against the protestors was excessive, and disproportionate,” the report read.

Calling the violent protests “shocking acts of lawlessness,” the Commission strongly condemned the protestors act like the destruction and burning of critical government infrastructure including a National Library and a County Court in Eldoret, the Governors Office in Nairobi, and Parliament buildings.
“We also have reports of the wanton destruction of property linked to politicians in Molo, Eldoret, Nyeri, Kiambu, and Embu. Also recorded is the destruction of private property, burning of cars and the breaking into and looting of shops. Over the weekend we documented instances of open hostility, threats of violence and actual violence meted on politicians by the public This is unacceptable, rights have obligations and we urge restraint, respect for the rule of law by all and non-violation of the rights of others. KNCHR urges the protestors to conduct themselves within the confines of the law while exercising their right under Article 37 of the Constitution,” the report added.
The largely peaceful anti-tax rallies, led primarily by young Gen-Z protesters, turned violent last Tuesday when lawmakers passed the controversial legislation, resulting in the ransacking and partial burning of the parliament complex in central Nairobi, while police fired live bullets at protesters.
President William Ruto, who took office in September 2022 following a highly divisive election, is facing the most serious crisis of his government, reported ANI.
In a televised interview on Sunday, Ruto acknowledged that 19 people had died in the protests but maintained that he did not have “blood on my hands” and pledged to investigate the deaths. The KNCHR strongly condemned the excessive and disproportionate force used against protesters, medical personnel, lawyers, journalists, and safe spaces such as churches, medical emergency centers, and ambulances. The watchdog also denounced the violent and shocking acts of lawlessness exhibited by some protesters, including the targeting of parliament and other government buildings.
Despite Ruto’s announcement last week that he would not sign the bill containing the tax hikes into law, activists have called for fresh protests starting Tuesday. Leaflets have been circulated on social media with hashtags such as “Occupy Everywhere”, “Ruto must go”, and “Reject Budgeted Corruption”. In light of the tense situation, the Indian Embassy in Kenya has advised Indian nationals to exercise utmost caution, restrict non-essential movement, and avoid areas affected by the protests and violence until the situation clears up.

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