By African Times Special Correspondent
Under the auspices of the Police Reforms
Working Group, twenty national human rights
organisations, collectively condemn the
unnecessary and excessive use of force by
Kenya National Police Service officers at the
Likoni Ferry Crossing, Mombasa County Kenya .
The police actions completely betrayed the
specific responsibility bestowed upon them by
the President; to facilitate orderly passage of
commuters on the Likoni crossing.
Alongside elected leaders and members of the
public, were horrified by the excessive use of
police force contrary to the functions of the
Police laid out in Article 244 the new
Constitution of the Republic of Kenya .
Police indiscriminately threw teargas, frog
marched and beat up members of the public
trying to get home in time for the curfew.
The assault of Nation Media Group Journalist
Peter Wainaina by a uniformed police officer
during the operation was also condemned .
The Kenya Police are being reminded that
journalists and media houses are among the
essential services exempted from the curfew
order as per the Schedule published by the
Ministry of Interior.
It is unbelievable that this violence took place
two hours before the designated curfew time of
It is essential that Kenyan law and international
human standards are respected.
Police bear a duty to maintain public order and
enforce the law.
They may only use force when strictly
Where the use of force is unavoidable, it must
also be done with restraint.
Police Reforms continue to receive testimonies
from victims, eyewitnesses and video footage
showing police gleefully assaulting members of
the public in other parts of the country.
In most instances, few posed no immediate
threat to the police officers or others.
The use of force and beatings was unnecessary
One day before the Likoni Ferry fiasco, the
National Police Service Inspector General
issued clear instructions to his officers.
These instructions clearly state his
commitment to hold sub-commanders
accountable for any police actions that lead to
congestion, crowding or violate social
Police Reforms Institution ask him to honor his
own word by disciplining the Sub-Commander
in charge of Mombasa Ferry fiasco.
The Institution also call upon Officers
Commanding Station (OCSs) to be guided by
the Bail and Bond Policy Guidelines as they
deal with petty offenders at the station level.
And further call upon the National Police
Service Inspector General to restrain his officers
from using teargas to avoid potential spread of
Hundreds were forced to cough, vomit, spit and
touch their faces to wipe away tears and
unblock their mouths and noses.
If the operation was supposed to protect people
from spreading the virus, the operation
achieved the exact opposite.
It is imperative that Ministry of Health
guidelines on prevention of the spread of
COVID-19 are followed by Police at all times.
Police officers appear confused on who is
included in the categories of critical and
essential services on the first night of the
Police Reforms Institution has testimonies from
suppliers and trained medical practitioners who
experienced intimidation and threats of arrest
as they tried to provide services during the
Their free movement must be protected.
The Ministry of Interior Cabinet Secretary
should include legal services as essential
services and accredit Article 59 to monitor
human rights, people’s safety and represent
clients who are arrested over this period.
It should be noted that the right to a fair trial
cannot been suspended even in the face of an
Internal Affairs Unit of the National Police
Service, the Independent Policing Oversight
Authority and the Kenya National Commission
for Human Rights to investigate all reports of
excessive use of force and unlawful policing
with a view to holding perpetrators individually
Members of the public are being urged and
encouraged to immediately report any
intimidation, extortion or violence to the