Amnesty International has urged Kenyan authorities to investigate reports that police on Friday night shot dead demonstrators protesting against the outcome of the presidential election.

As celebrations began in pro-government areas after Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner of the presidential election, supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga poured onto the streets in parts of Nairobi and Kisumu to protest the outcome, Amnesty International Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn, and the Great Lakes Muthoni Wanyeki said on Saturday.

“The Independent Policing and Oversight Authority (IPOA) must immediately launch an independent and effective investigation into reported killings and where there is credible evidence of crimes those responsible must be brought to justice,” Wanyeki said. “Everyone has a right to peaceful protest and they must not be hurt, injured, or killed for exercising that right.”

Amnesty International had received credible information that one man was shot dead by police in Nairobi’s Kibera slums and at least two others in Kisumu’s Kondele area, while others were wounded. There were also confrontations between police and protesters in Mathare and Kariobangi, both in Nairobi.

“Police must do everything necessary to protect life in these protests. They should prioritise dialogue and de-escalation, and only use force and firearms if all peaceful means fail, and only where necessary to protect life. Use of excessive and disproportionate force is forbidden under Kenyan and international law and must be avoided at all costs,” Wanyeki said.

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– By ANA