KENYA- While watching police patrolling the streets from their balcony alongside his mother and siblings, a stray bullet shot straight to the stomach of 13-year-old Yassin Hussein Moyo making him the country's first casualty of coronavirus-related curfew.
Watching the news at a nearby friend's place, the father of the victim Hussein Moyo Molte heard gunshots, and moments after, he received a call from his daughter who delivered the bad news.
According to CNN, she stated that Yassin's been shot while they were on the balcony, the police had a torch on them and then fired shots.
After hearing the incident, Moyo rushed home as the neighborhood is already engulfed in tear gas.
Despite the efforts of Yassin's neighbors in bringing him to a hospital in Nairobi, he later died from his injuries.
Yassin's father believes that the neighborhood police officers are to blame for the incident on March 30 and he shared that his child was shot on the balcony at home and he was not even on the street.
He also added that he is very supportive about the curfew but he emphasized that the way the policeman handled it was very wrong.
Unnecessary use of excessive force
Kenya imposed the nationwide dusk-to-dawn curfew on March 27 as part of their safety and precautionary measures in fighting against COVID-19, which already killed 14 patients in the country.
On the other hand, since the start of the curfew, human rights group Amnesty International shared that they have documented 16 deaths where police officers are primary suspects.
Kenya director of Amnesty International, Irungu Houghton emphasized that excessive use of force further terrorizes a public that is already anxious and fearful.
After the first day of curfew, disturbing videos circulated on local media showing how the police are violently beating and forcing people to lie in tight groups in the city of Mombasa.
The humans rights group director Houghton believes that the violent enforcement of the curfew destroys public trust in the police and it could hurt the efforts in stopping the spread of coronavirus.
Houghton also added that people will not voluntarily submit themselves to be tested if they feel their dignity and safety cannot be guaranteed.
In a televised address, Kenya's inspector general of police vowed to investigate the death of Yassin and even Kenya president Uhuru Kenyatta issued a public apology for the excessive use of force by the country's police.
Kenya national police's spokesman, Charles Owino confirmed that Yassin by a stray bullet but the investigation and ballistic report is still ongoing and when asked about the allegations of excessive use of force, Owino refused to respond to the questions.
An apology is not enough
A month after the incident, Yassin's family is still traumatized and they emphasized that an apology will not bring back their son.
Yassin's mother, Hadija Abdullahi Hussein shared that even everyone is home no one is talking, as Yassin used to be the one who brought all the life in their house.
She also confessed that the sight of police patrolling the streets left her and other 3-year-old son terrified, asking the question of whether the police will shoot him too.
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