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Kenya: Police accused of abuse amid COVID-19 curfew

Kenya: Police accused of abuse amid COVID-19 curfew
Police apologize for behavior on first day of curfew to stem spread of novel coronavirus

By Andrew Wasike

NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) - Kenya's premier bar association on Saturday condemned alleged brutality by security forces on the first day of nation-wide curfew due to novel coronavirus pandemic.

Police on Friday were caught on live TV footage beating journalists and others who did not comply with the curfew from 7.00 p.m. to 5.00 a.m. local time (1600GMT to 0200GMT).

Thousands were stranded along the coast as ferries stopped working as the curfew came into force.

Nelson Havi, president of the Law Society of Kenya, said in a statement on Monday that the association would seek a court order to block the "unconstitutional" curfew.

"The legality of the curfew, acts and omissions of State and private citizens in the name of containing the spread Covid-19 are matters that must be addressed in Court; not nature or police. The rule of law and constitutionalism must prevail no matter the gravity of a calamity," said Havi.

Police fired teargas and beat many trying to cross via ferry after curfew time in the coastal city of Mombasa.

Kenyan police spokesman Charles Owino apologized for the police's behavior on Friday.

"As a service, it is regrettable, and we always take the appropriate action against individual police officers, we will take action on individual officers who went beyond in their actions," he said, adding: "Let us obey the law, maintain social distance. The reason why we have a curfew is to ensure that we manage this situation appropriately."

source: News Feed
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