The Guardian • Issue #2063


  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2063

KENYA: Police have been ordered not to report deaths amid protests against the rising cost of living. While police in Kenya have long been accused by rights groups of using excessive force, there is growing concern about tactics used under the government of President William Ruto, who was elected last year. “Police are receiving orders outside the police command and beginning to act in the interests of the executive and not the public interest,” the director of the Independent Medico-Legal Unit watchdog, Peter Kiama, said. The failure to report deaths or injuries from police action within 24 hours to the government-created Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) is illegal, Kiama said. A commissioner with the IPOA, John Waiganjo, confirmed to local broadcaster NTV that the organisation had “not received notifications as we should, and I think it’s important to point that out.” Data from Kiama’s organisation shows that 27 people confirmed shot dead by police in three previous opposition-called demonstrations this year. In addition, the watchdog has confirmed six shot dead by police last week, four of them in the capital, Nairobi. They were trying to confirm four more in various parts of the country. “It seems the police are out to completely disregard the public interest, and that’s dangerous for us,” Kiama said. “We’ve been there in the ’90s and saw what happened, the issue of plainclothes officers abducting people without identifying themselves. That’s what we’re seeing unfolding.” That has intensified in recent weeks, he said.

CANADA: The International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada rescinded the strike notice that it had issued. In a brief note to its locals in British Columbia that evening, the union said the strike set for 22nd July at 9am “has now been removed.” With the 72-hour notice lifted, the union can’t resume strike action unless it files another notice, according to the Canada Industrial Relations Board decision issued against the union.

TWO KOREAS: According to the Biden administration, the North did not respond to US attempts to discuss the US soldier who bolted across the heavily armed border. Without mentioning the serviceman, North Korea’s defence minister blasted the docking of a nuclear-armed US submarine in South Korea. Travis King, who was supposed to be in his home after finishing a prison sentence in South Korea for assault, ran into the North while on a civilian tour of the border last week.

MALI: French has been demoted to a working language instead of being an official language in Mali, amongst other changes adopted from a recent referendum. This will probably be a popular move; recent demonstrations have involved local people protesting against the French military involvement there, and people in the area have seen the CFA franc, a currency backed by France – as a neocolonial means of keeping French influence alive in the region.

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