Three Kenyan police officers have been arrested after a widely circulated video showed the men dragging a woman behind a motorcycle and whipping her.
The arrests on Thursday came after the video taken the previous day in Kuresoi South, west of the capital, Nairobi, sparked outrage among social media users, activists and others.
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In the one-and-a-half minute clip, a police officer is seen riding a motorcycle, 21-year-old Mercy Cherono being pulled along behind it, while others beat her. The ordeal causes her trousers to slide off, leaving her naked from the waist down.
“Three officers were yesterday arrested … following circulation of a video depicting a woman being whipped & dragged on a motorbike in Kuresoi South Sub-County,” the Directorate of Criminal Investigations said in a statement.
“The suspects are in lawful custody helping with further investigations into the matter,” it added.
THREE @PoliceKE officers were yesterday arrested by @DCI_Kenya Detectives following circulation of a video depicting a woman being whipped & dragged on a motorbike in Kuresoi South Sub-County. The suspects are in lawful custody helping with further investigations into the matter pic.twitter.com/yx4eXA8a9D
— DCI KENYA (@DCI_Kenya) June 11, 2020
The woman was reportedly accused of breaking into a police officer’s house.
The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) issued a statement saying it had launched an investigation into the matter.
The incident came amid an outcry over police brutality in Kenya, where law enforcement officers have often faced accusations by rights groups of using excessive force, especially in poor neighbourhoods.
On Monday, protesters poured onto the streets of Nairobi after the IPOA said police officers were involved in the killing of at least 15 people since the enforcement of a dusk-to-dawn curfew to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I am here to protest for our youth who have died at the hands of the police without any wrongdoing,” Rahma Wako, a demonstrator in the capital’s Mathare settlement said. “We are saying, ‘Enough is enough’. As mothers, many of our youth have been killed while being labelled as thieves.”
“[We are] telling them to stop killing our kids,” added Beatrice Rongo, another protester. “Mothers are crying, sisters, everybody – we are all hurt by this injustice of police brutality.”
‘What about African lives?’
In recent days, cities around the world have witnessed major protests against police violence and racism prompted by the police killing of George Floyd in the United States on May 25.
Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was pinned to the ground by a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The officer, who has since been fired and charged for murder, knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, as Floyd pleaded “I can’t breathe”.
My cartoon for @thecontinent_ pic.twitter.com/Yuewsq7nXK
— gathara (@gathara) June 6, 2020
Activists in Kenya have taken to social media to draw parallels with the country’s own scourge of police brutality, which typically goes unpunished.
Prominent Kenyan commentator and cartoonist Patrick Gathara last week drew an image of a man representing African governments holding up a “Black lives matter” placard, while kneeling on the neck of a man asking: “What about African lives?”
In April, Human Right Watch (HRW) accused the police of imposing the curfew in a “chaotic and violent manner from the start”, sometimes whipping, kicking and tear-gassing people to force them off the streets.
It described the case of 13-year-old Yassin Hussein Moyo who died in Nairobi on March 31 after being shot while standing on his balcony as police forced people into their homes on the street below.
In others, a tomato seller died in western Kakamega after being hit by a tear gas canister, while four men were beaten to death in different parts of the country.
“It is shocking that people are losing their lives and livelihoods while supposedly being protected from infection,” Otsieno Namwaya, HRW’s senior Africa researcher, said at the time.
In a February report detailing the killing of at least eight people in Nairobi’s low-income neighbourhoods, HRW said police “continue to kill crime suspects and protesters in cold blood despite persistent calls to end the killings and the use of excessive force”.
Minister of Interior Fred Matiangi on Friday criticised police excesses, but “took exception to painting the entire service with the same brush”, his office said in a statement.
It came after the IPOA announced six police officers would be arrested and prosecuted – one for Moyo’s death; another for shooting dead a secondary school teacher while responding to a burglary at a market in western Siaya; and four others for seriously assaulting a man during an arrest.
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Iran says ‘internal agents’ may be responsible for Natanz blast |NationalTribune.com
Tehran, Iran – The Iranian government said on Tuesday there are strong suspicions that “internal agents” played a role in a massive explosion that occurred at a key nuclear facility earlier this year. On July 2, a fire ripped through a building at Natanz, a major uranium enrichment site. Satellite images showed it caused the…
Tehran, Iran – The Iranian government said on Tuesday there are strong suspicions that “internal agents” played a role in a massive explosion that occurred at a key nuclear facility earlier this year.
On July 2, a fire ripped through a building at Natanz, a major uranium enrichment site. Satellite images showed it caused the roof to collapse and parts of the building were blackened by the blaze.
“One of the strong theories is based on internal agents being involved in the incident,” government spokesman Ali Rabiei told reporters at a news conference, according to the Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA).
“The issue is being seriously reviewed by the country’s security organisations and we will announce the results after things are clear.”
It is the first time an Iranian official specifically pointed to the possibility of an inside job for the blast.
In late August, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization confirmed the damage to the facility was the result of “sabotage”.
“But how this explosion took place and with what materials … will be announced by security officials in due course,” spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said at the time, citing “security reasons” for not disclosing further information.
‘Sabotage is certain’
In early September, Kamalvandi announced Natanz saboteurs “have been identified” but refrained from discussing further details, including whether internal agents were complicit.
On Tuesday, Rabiei also reiterated that “sabotage is certain” but the incident still needs to be investigated due to its complexities.
The desert Natanz site, much of which is underground, is one of several Iranian facilities regularly monitored by inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog.
Following the explosion, international media reports indicated Israel may have been behind the attack. Israel has been deliberately vague, neither confirming nor denying involvement while stressing the danger of a nuclear-armed Iran.
“Everyone can suspect us in everything and all the time, but I don’t think that’s correct,” Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said days after the attack.
Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi also said “Iran cannot be allowed to have nuclear capabilities”, adding to that end, “We take actions that are better left unsaid.”
September’s announcement that Iran knows the saboteurs behind the Natanz explosion came one week after IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi visited the country.
The trip was successful, leading to Iran granting access to two suspected former nuclear sites that the UN watchdog wished to inspect.
“In this present context, based on analysis of available information to the IAEA, the IAEA does not have further questions to Iran and further requests for access to locations other than those declared by Iran,” the IAEA and Iranian officials said in a joint statement following the visit.
In a speech during the 64th session of the General Conference of the IAEA on Monday, the president of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi referred to the Natanz incident.
“These malicious acts need to be condemned by the agency and member states,” he said via video conference, adding “Iran reserves its rights to protect its facilities and take necessary actions against any threat as appropriate.”
Salehi also urged the UN watchdog not to compromise its “impartiality, independence and professionalism”.
Iran, UN and the United States are locked in a major disagreement centred around the landmark 2015 nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers, which US President Donald Trump unilaterally abandoned in May 2018.
The US on Sunday declared it reinstated all UN sanctions on Iran, an announcement that was roundly rejected by the United Nations Security Council as lacking legal basis.
The US is trying to indefinitely extend an arms embargo on Iran that is set to expire in October as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the formal name of the nuclear deal.
Iran, which has always maintained it never pursued nuclear weapons, accepted the nuclear deal that removed all UN sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme.
The US reneged on the deal, unilaterally imposing a harsh campaign of sanctions that have hit almost all the productive sectors of the Iranian economy. US sanctions have also targeted Iranian officials and organisations.
In response, starting exactly one year after US sanctions were imposed and other parties failed to guarantee economic benefits promised Iran under the deal, Iran started gradually scaling back its nuclear commitments.
Palestine quits Arab League role in protest over Israel deals |NationalTribune.com
Palestine was meant to chair Arab League meetings for next six months, but FM Riyad al-Maliki has declined the position.Palestine has quit its current chairmanship of Arab League meetings, the Palestinian foreign minister said on Tuesday, condemning as dishonourable any Arab agreement to establish formal ties with Israel. Palestinians see the deals that the United…
Palestine was meant to chair Arab League meetings for next six months, but FM Riyad al-Maliki has declined the position.Palestine has quit its current chairmanship of Arab League meetings, the Palestinian foreign minister said on Tuesday, condemning as dishonourable any Arab agreement to establish formal ties with Israel.
Palestinians see the deals that the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed with Israel in Washington a week ago as a betrayal of their cause and a blow to their quest for an independent state in Israeli-occupied territory.
Earlier this month, the Palestinians failed to persuade the Arab League to condemn nations breaking ranks and normalising relations with Israel.
Palestine was supposed to chair Arab League meetings for the next six months, but Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told a news conference in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah that it no longer wanted the position.
“Palestine has decided to concede its right to chair the League’s council [of foreign ministers] at its current session. There is no honour in seeing Arabs rush towards normalisation during its presidency,” Maliki said.
In his remarks, he did not specifically name the UAE and Bahrain, Gulf Arab countries that share with Israel concern over Iran. He said Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit had been informed of the Palestinian decision.
Palestinians rally against Bahrain-Israel normalisation
The Palestinian leadership wants an independent state based on the de facto borders before the 1967 war, in which Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and annexed East Jerusalem.
Arab countries have long called for Israel’s withdrawal from illegally occupied land, a just solution for Palestinian refugees and a settlement that leads to the establishment of a viable, independent Palestinian state, in exchange for establishing ties with it.
In a new move addressing internal Palestinian divisions, officials from West Bank-based President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction and the Gaza-based Hamas movement were due to hold reconciliation talks in Turkey on Tuesday.
Hamas seized the Gaza Strip in 2007 from Fatah forces during a brief round of fighting. Differences over power-sharing have delayed implementation of unity deals agreed since then.
Source : Al Jazeera, News Agencies
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