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Kenyan Anti-Tax Protests Turn Deadly: Man Killed Amid Demonstrations

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Ayize claire

Jun 21, 2024

Tragedy Strikes as Kenyan Anti-Tax Protests Intensify: Unarmed Man Shot Dead by Police

A Kenyan soldier holding a gun amid teargas environment

A 29-year-old man, Rex Kanyike Masai, was fatally shot during nationwide protests in Kenya against a new finance bill. The police, using tear gas and water cannons, clashed with largely peaceful protesters near parliament. Amnesty International accused the police of excessive force, with over 100 arrests made.

Despite some tax provisions being withdrawn, anger remains, especially among young protesters targeting President William Ruto’s government. Critics argue the new taxes hinder economic growth and cause job losses.

Masai, unarmed and carrying only his ID card and phone, was shot while evading tear gas. He died from a thigh wound after being taken to Bliss Hospital in Nairobi. Social media erupted with demands for justice, and organizers plan to honor Masai with posters and cover his burial expenses.

The Kenya Red Cross reported 39 injuries during the protests, with eight in critical condition at Kenyatta National Hospital. Amnesty International confirmed the use of live ammunition by some officers, citing spent cartridges as evidence. The Law Society of Kenya condemned the police for alleged brutality and illegal arrests.

Despite the unrest, the finance bill passed its second reading and will proceed to the next stage for amendments, with a final vote expected soon. The government defends the bill as necessary to reduce Kenya’s national debt of nearly $80 billion.

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