The Institute for Human Rights TIHURI has petitioned the Independent Policing Oversight Authority IPOA to investigate human rights violations during a police raid at a burial in Ngerenya last month.
During the raid, 23 people were injured while over 50 were arrested.
In a letter to IPOA TIHURI accuses officers from Kilifi police station of breaching peace and using excessive force during the burial of Josephat Munga on 16th February.
TIHURI executive director Eric Mgoja presented spent cartridges and broken sticks that he claimed were used during the raid.
“While the mourners were relatively calm listening to a sermon from the local pastor at the burial, the police provoked the mourners by shooting in the air several times for no good reason thus causing panic and ultimately causing a stampede that was uncalled for,” read part of the petition.
Among those who were beaten include a teacher who was a kilometer away from the burial. His left leg was broken during the beating.
An assistant chief from Chonyi division who had attended the burial was among those who received the beating.
Outside the law
“TIHURI wishes to categorically reiterate its position that the police officers while on duty circumvented the law by subjecting innocent civilians to torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and therefore calls on IPOA to initiate investigations into the matter with a view to bring all perpetrators of this heinous act to book,” read the statement.
On February 15th, police officers went to Ziro Kai’s family in Ngerenya during the night after getting a tip off from the local administration that the family members were playing a night disco popularly known as disco matanga.
The police went to confiscate the disco equipment but they were over powered by the mourners who had gathered for the night vigil.
They returned to the village at about 1pm when the family was about to bury the deceased.
They surrounded the homestead and started harassing and beating everyone on sight.
“They came in one large truck and four land cruisers which were all full of police officers. The pastorwho was delivering the sermon urged us to stay calm as they had come to offer security. They grabbed the microphone from the pastor and started beating him. They fired in the air and they started beating and arresting everyone,” said Juma Chikodza.
Kilifi OCPD Njoroge Ngige said the mourners provoked the police by beating and injuring a police officer during the night raid to stop