A court in Kenya on Tuesday charged a police officer with the murder of a 13-year-old boy in a Nairobi slum as authorities enforced a coronavirus curfew.

Yassin Hussein Moyo was shot dead on the balcony of his home in March as police officers used force to clear the streets in the poor neighbourhood of Huruma.

His death came to illustrate the chaotic and sometimes violent enforcement of a night-time curfew by Kenyan police, who have been accused of murdering more than a dozen others since the coronavirus lockdown began in late March.

Police constable Patrick Ndiema was arraigned before a judge in Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi and charged with murdering the teenager.

He pleaded not guilty, and was ordered to remain in police custody until Wednesday when a judge will hear his bail application.

Earlier this month, the police oversight agency IPOA said at least 15 deaths had been “directly linked” to curfew enforcement.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused police officers of murder and using excess force, whippings and tear gas to violently force Kenyans indoors during the early days of the curfew.

Activists have seized the global groundswell against police brutality following George Floyd’s death in the United States to highlight Kenya’s own record on unlawful killings by law enforcement.

A small protest against police violence was held in June in Mathare, one of Nairobi’s bigger slums, which has rarely seen officers convicted for brutality.


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