The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has joined voices across the nation in denouncing what is believed to be police brutality against medical professionals protesting against the government’s handling of their grievances. The condemnation follows an incident where Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union (KMPDU) Secretary General Davj Atellah sustained injuries during a protest, allegedly after being hit by a teargas canister.

LSK’s President-elect, Faith Odhiambo, addressed the issue on Monday, characterizing the events as a violation of constitutional rights. She expressed deep concern over the use of excessive force by government agencies during the KMPDU demonstrations.

“The Law Society of Kenya wishes to condemn in the strongest terms possible the willful disregard to the law being demonstrated by government agencies in the recent use of police force during KMPDU protests,” Odhiambo stated emphatically.

The protests organized by KMPDU aimed to highlight the plight of medical interns who were protesting the lack of confirmation for permanent and pensionable employment. With over 1,215 medical interns awaiting posting, some for more than six months, the situation has become increasingly dire.

During the demonstration last Thursday, KMPDU officials led the protest. However, reports emerged of police intervention to disperse the crowd, preventing them from presenting their grievances to the National Treasury.

“The Society notes the disregard by the police of their constitutional duty, violation of rights to protest, and the disproportionate use of force,” added Odhiambo, highlighting the seriousness of the situation.

In response to the incident, Odhiambo pledged LSK’s commitment to upholding the rule of law and hinted at seeking legal recourse. “The society will join in solidarity with KMPDU in taking all necessary action to ensure justice is served for Dr. Davji,” she declared. “We demand that the Inspector General of Police and IPOA arrest the rogue individuals involved.”

Additionally, Odhiambo raised concerns about the use of live bullets during a previous protest staged by LSK members in Nakuru. The incident, where police were accused of firing live ammunition against demonstrators, underscores a troubling trend of excessive force against professional bodies.

“The police seem to have taken a path of using force against professional bodies,” remarked Odhiambo, emphasizing the need for dialogue and engagement with oversight bodies to address these issues.

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