Doctors in Kenya have confirmed that bullet wounds sustained by civilians during opposition-backed protests in two counties of the country last month were sustained while the demonstrators were either running from the police or trying to surrender, a report released on Friday says.
The report by the Kenya Medical Association, Amnesty International Kenya and the Law Society of Kenya looked at three days of protests in the western counties of Kisumu and Kisii, part of the opposition’s stronghold.
It confirmed that at least 11 people were killed, while at least 47 others sustained gunshot injuries.
“There was indeed the use of excessive force by the police” during the protests over the rising cost of living, the report said, noting that some victims were simply bystanders, including a woman watching the demonstrations from her shop. She was shot in the chest, the report says.
The findings come less than a week after Kenya’s government said it would consider leading a multinational force in Haiti to take on gang warfare and could send 1,000 Kenyan police officers.
Human rights groups have accused Kenyan police of abuses, and those warnings spread during the recent demonstrations. Another watchdog confirmed at least 35 people were killed last month.
The new report is based on visits and interviews with survivors and witnesses.
“First responders noted that some victims’ families were not allowed to see or photograph bullets extracted from the bodies of their loved ones,” it said. “Concerns over police tampering with evidence were high. One elderly father used his bare hands to find the bullet lodged in his son’s open skull.”
The report calls for immediate investigations by the government-created Independent Policing Oversight Authority.