On December 5, 2022, police shot and killed one student during a demonstration outside Machakos University. Students were protesting the lack of sufficient security on campus, following a violent attack on a student on December 1. Students reportedly engaged the police in ‘running battles’ several times during their demonstration.
During the protest, the police shot student protester Brilliant Anusu, who was transported to the hospital and later passed away.
On December 6, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations arrested Michael Mulwa, the police officer responsible for the shooting. In a statement posted to Twitter the same day, the Independent Policing Oversight Authority announced it had opened an investigation into the conduct of police during the protest.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about the use of violent attacks on student protesters, and in particular about the use of live rounds to disperse students. SAR offers condolences to the family and colleagues of the deceased student. While state authorities have a responsibility to maintain order and security, they also have an obligation to ensure that their actions are proportionate to the situation. In addition to the harm to the immediate victim, violence during protests undermines academic freedom and democratic society generally.
*SAR identified this incident in data made publicly available by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED)