Finance Bill protests: One dead after being shot by police


Protestors demonstrate against the Finance Bill 2024 on the streets of Nairobi June 20, 2024.

Photo credit: Francis Nderitu | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The fatality was confirmed by medics at Bliss Medical Centre.
  • The deceased was taken to the facility with a gunshot wound.

One person has died after being shot by the police in Nairobi during Thursday’s protests against the Finance Bill 2024.

The fatality was confirmed by medics at Bliss Medical Centre located along Moi Avenue Nairobi’s CBD.

Speaking to the Nation on Thursday evening, Dr Emmanuel Kimang’a said the youth, who is yet to be identified, was brought to the facility with a gunshot wound while already dead.

“We have been unable to get his ID card and don’t know who he is, but he could be between 29 and 32 years old,” Dr Kimang’a said.

“He was shot in the upper middle part of the thigh. It appears he bled to death before being brought to our facility,” Dr Kimang’a said.

In a joint statement, Amnesty International and its partners said 104 people were arrested in the protests took place in several parts of the country.

They said police officers used live bullets on the protesters as evidenced by spent cartridges.

“Atleast 35 people have been arrested across the counties while at least about 200 people were injured in Nairobi,” they stated adding five people suffered injuries from rubber bullets.

“They include Nairobi (20), Garissa (1), Kisumu (3), Vihiga (4), Narok (4), Uasin Gishu (70), and Nakuru (2).”

According to the statement, the injuries range from fractures, bullet wounds, soft tissue injuries and inhalation of tear gas.

“Majority were treated on site and discharged while 50 who were severely injured in Nairobi were referred for further specialised treatment.”

Amnesty International went ahead to commend protestors for the peaceful manner in which they conducted themselves during the demonstrations.

They added that protestors, who were mostly young men and women, were peaceful despite provocation by the police who confronted them with teargas, live bullets, batons as well as water cannons.

“Six people were hit by cars while running away from the police,” they noted while maintaining that the restriction and use of force by police in Thursday protests was unnecessary and disproportionate.

On Tuesday week, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) reminded the police that freedom of assembly and association are considered to be not only fundamental human rights but also essential to sustained economic, social and democratic progress.

The human rights defenders further told government that it has an obligation to facilitate the rights of protesters through provision of security to ensure law and order.

This means that any restriction to the right to freedom of assembly must in conformity with the law, they said.

It also means that police should at all times conduct themselves in accordance with the law.

Article 37 of the Constitution of Kenya states that every person has a right to picket and present petitions to public authorities provided they do so in a peaceful manner.

Speaking to the Nation in an interview on Thursday, the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) President Faith Odhiambo condemned police brutality and the illegal arrest of protesters.

“One of our LSK members, who was side by side with other protesters, was arrested today in the CBD and when he alerted us, police officers dumped him in Gikomba," Ms Odhiambo said.

When Nation visited the Central Police Station on Thursday evening, officers sent our team away saying they have been instructed not to 'entertain' the media.

"We have not arrested anyone and we will not allow you to access our station. Please go away, today our motto is ‘keep going’. Whoever comes through must turn back at the gate and go away,” said the officer who spoke to the Nation.