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No, photo not of police brutality during Kenya’s coronavirus curfew

A photo posted on a Kenyan Facebook group shows uniformed officers beating a woman and a man with batons. The woman is on her knees as an officer strikes her.

“Police will kill Kenyan's more than corona will do. #CurfewKenya,” the caption reads.

The photo also appears in a post that’s been shared more than 1,600 times. The text reads: “I feel alot of pain when i see many policemen beating one woman like this even when she is on her knees in the name of curfew nonsense ... She only got late after staying at bus stage from 4pm up to past 7pm waiting for matatu.” (A matatu is a minibus taxi.)

On 27 March 2020, Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta imposed a daily dusk-to-dawn curfew to help contain the spread of Covid-19

The Star newspaper has used the photo in one of their articles on the curfew.

The curfew, from 7pm to 5am, is being enforced by Kenyan police. But photos, videos and media reports of police brutality under the curfew have been widely condemned.

Does the Facebook photo show more curfew brutality? We checked. 

Photo from 2016 opposition protests

A reverse image search reveals the photo was taken by Reuters photographer Goran Tomasevic in 2016. It shows police violence during protests by then-opposition party Coalition for Reforms and Democracy against the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission. 

The Reuters caption reads: “Kenyan policemen beat protesters during clashes in Nairobi, Kenya May 16, 2016.” The photo also appears in a Reuters news report on the protests.

The photo is nearly four years old. It was not taken during the current curfew. – Dancan Bwire


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