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Human rights groups have condemned the “unnecessary and excessive use of force” by Kenyan police as the country imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew.

Kenyan government had imposed a dusk-to-dawn measure to fight coronavirus from 28 Mar 2020 GMT+3. This has led to police using tear gas and beat commuters with batons.

In Kenya on Friday, police fired tear gas at a crowd of ferry commuters in the port city of Mombasa before the 7pm to 5am curfew came into force.

However, about  twenty human rights groups, including Amnesty International, said this in a statement on Saturday

Medical experts say that this action increases the chance of the virus’s spreading. As hundreds of people to touch their faces as they vomited, spat and wiped away tears.

Also, many health workers  reported being intimidated by police officers as they provide health services to 5he citizens after the curfew.

Somewhere in the country, some officers were captured in mobile phone footage beating people with batons and causing confusion in the country.

“We continue to receive testimonies from victims, eyewitnesses and video footage showing police gleefully assaulting members of the public in other parts of the country,” the rights groups said.

Meanwhile, the Kenya’s interior ministry on Saturday replied to the criticism.

A statement by the right group stated “is meant to guard against an apparent threat to public health. Breaking it is not only irresponsible but also puts others in harm’s way”.

The guidelines issued to security forces on the curfew say that police can use “proportionate force where non-violent means are inadequate to achieve the objectives of the curfew”.

However, government has not said how many people have been arrested.

This is because courts are also affected by the virus prevention measures.

Only serious cases will now be dealt with at police stations, the government has said.

This implies that anyone detained for violating curfew faces long time in crowded cells.

Kenya has so far confirmed 38 cases of the new coronavirus, which causes a highly infectious respiratory disease called COVID-19. The country has taken a series of measures to stop its spread, including shutting borders and banning most air travel.

The Law Society of Kenya will go to court to challenge the curfew on the grounds that it is “unconstitutional” and has been abused by police, President Nelson Havi said in a statement.

The penalty for breaking a curfew is not corporal punishment, he added.

“It is evident that COVID-19 will be spread more by actions of police than of those claimed to have contravened the curfew,” Nelson concluded.

Above all, the World Health Organization (WHO) has advised people to follow safety measures against coronavirus.


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