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KHCHR Dismisses President Ruto’s Claims Of Fake Data On Githurai Killings

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) has dismissed President William Ruto’s claims on Sunday night that the state-funded rights watchdog gave misleading information to the public about a reported ‘massacre’ in Nairobi’s Githurai area.

Following day-long anti-Finance Bill protests on Tuesday, June 25, unconfirmed reports emerged that the police and military forces were slaughtering people in the residential area late in the night.

In a media roundtable at State House Nairobi on Sunday, Ruto was asked about the number of people the police killed since the protests began, which he maintained are 19 but which rights groups – including KNCHR – have placed much higher.

The president accused the commission of falsely reporting that 20 people were killed in the Githurai ‘massacre’.

KNCHR chairperson Roseline Odede in a statement later in the evening however dismissed Ruto’s claims, maintaining that the commission did not give such a statement.

“We the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights have not issued any statement on Githurai. We are still in the process of confirming the happenings in Githurai, Rongai, Migori, Nakuru, and other parts of the country,” Odede said.

“From data in our possession, we had reports of 22 deaths arising from the protests, as of Wednesday when we made our last statement, and that is what we reported.

Odede added that the commission has confirmed 24 deaths since the protests began on June 18.

According to KNCHR, it did not give any figures on the alleged incident, per President Ruto’s claims it instead investigations are ongoing.

“The Commission witnessed with shock as police officers moved into residential areas of Githurai and Jinja in the evening of Tuesday 25th June 2024 and were allegedly involved in indiscriminate shooting of civilians. As a result of this, the Commission has received unverified reports of scores of residents who were killed by the stray bullets. We will be investigating this to ensure accountability for these atrocities,” the rights body said at that time.

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