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Africa

One killed in Kenya rallies as protesters breach parliament

todayJune 25, 2024 21

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Graphic content / The body of a victim (L) lays on the pavement as another man is seen laying down during a nationwide strike to protest against tax hikes and the Finance Bill 2024 in downtown Nairobi, on June 25, 2024. Kenyan police shot dead one protester near the country’s parliament Tuesday, a rights watchdog said as demonstrators angry over proposed tax hikes breached barricades and entered the government complex, where a fire erupted. The mainly Gen-Z-led rallies, which began last week, have taken President William Ruto’s government by surprise, with the Kenyan leader saying over the weekend that he was ready to speak to the protesters. (Photo by Kabir DHANJI / AFP) (Photo by KABIR DHANJI/AFP via Getty Images)

 

 

 

Kenyan police shot dead one protester near the country’s parliament Tuesday, a rights watchdog said, as hundreds of demonstrators angry over tax hikes breached barricades and entered the partly ablaze government complex.

AFP journalists saw three people lying motionless on the ground near the compound, where police fired live rounds and left “many wounded”, according to Amnesty International Kenya.

Police fired at crowds massing outside the parliament building, where lawmakers had been debating a contentious bill featuring tax hike proposals.

“Police have shot four protesters, as witnessed by KHRC, killing one,” the Kenya Human Rights Commission said in a statement on X.

Shortly before, Irungu Houghton, the executive director of Amnesty International Kenya, told AFP that “human rights observers are now reporting the increasing use of live bullets by the National Police Service in the capital of Nairobi”.

“Safe passage for medical officers to treat the many wounded is now urgent,” he said.

The mainly Gen-Z-led rallies began last week and had been mostly peaceful, with President William Ruto saying over the weekend he was ready to talk to the protesters.

But tensions sharply escalated on Tuesday afternoon, as crowds began to throw stones at police and push back against barricades, making their way towards the parliament complex, which was sealed off by police in full riot gear.

Anger over a cost-of-living crisis spiralled into nationwide rallies last week, with demonstrators calling for the finance bill to be scrapped.

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AFP

(NAMPA / AFP)

 

 

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