Six police officers are charged with murder in Kenya, following the deaths of two brothers who were arrested on August 1 for violating a nightly pandemic ban on the pandemic.
The deaths of Emanuel Mutour Duiga and Benson Enjiro Duiga, aged 19 and 22 respectively, have sparked outrage in the country. There were even demonstrations – in some cases violent – with participants denouncing police violence.
The six police officers, four men and two women, pleaded not guilty when they were brought to a Nairobi court today. They will remain in custody until their request for parole is considered on September 22.
The Duiga brothers were last seen alive on the first Sunday in August when they were arrested by police for violating a traffic ban in Kenya from 10pm to 4.00am. Two days later, their relatives located their bodies in the local morgue.
Ebou County police say the two brothers were killed when they jumped from a moving vehicle, a claim that is categorically denied by their family. The autopsy revealed that they had injuries to the head and ribs.
Police’s attorneys requested that the brothers be exhumed for a new forensic examination, but the court rejected the request.
The deaths of the two brothers sparked violent protests, during which at least one person was killed by police fire and a patrol car was set on fire.
Human rights groups have denounced what they call a “twin pandemic”, a police crackdown that erupted after a night-time curfew was imposed in Kenya in March 2020. ” measures against Covid-19, “said last month the Police Reform Working Group, a coalition of civil society organizations. A total of 25 “suspicious” deaths have been recorded.
In mid-August, police said they were investigating the death of a 38-year-old motorcyclist who was beaten to death by police for violating a curfew. His body was found in a district of eastern Nairobi, Cayole. Many shops were set on fire and looted during the protests.
Kenya, a country of about 48 million people, has so far recorded about 237,000 cases of Covid-19 and more than 4,700 deaths.