Kenya: Kenyan University shut down after fresh riot threat

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - The University of Nairobi (UoN) was shut down indefinitely on Tuesday after a threat by students to demonstrate over growing Police brutality, the University Vice Chancellor, Peter Mbithi, said.

The University students planned to hit the streets with a new demonstration in response to Police brutality meted on the students at their halls of residence in Nairobi on 28 Sept. when the students rioted against the arrest of fiery student leader and lawmaker, Babu Owino.

Prof. Mbithi said the University Senate, its top decision-making body, decided to close the institution early and asked all the students to vacate their halls of residence immediately.

The Kenyan Police have come under intense criticism after a video of Police forcing students into a frog-march and battering them emerged on online websites and on social media platforms.

In one of the videos, Police were seen rushing to a storey building and forcing the students to open the doors after throwing teargas canisters and closing the windows as the smoke billowed inside the halls.

The students planned to demonstrate on Tuesday to protest the Police activity.

According to the Vice Chancellor, at least 26 students were injured during the heavy beating by the Police. Female students with blood stains were seen in photographs after the Police invasion.

“The students have been asked to vacate halls of residence with immediate effect,” Mbithi said.

Kenyan opposition leader, James Orengo, said the closure of the University amounted to double punishment for the students and an assault on academic freedom.

“The Police brutality was in a primitive sense,” Orengo told reporters.

The opposition lawmaker said the Vice Chancellor should be careful when handling matters of academic freedom.
-0- PANA AO/VAO 3Oct2017

03 october 2017 13:32:48

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