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Kenya president's controversial reelection triggers deadly protest

[JURIST] According to the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights [official website], a protest in opposition of the reelection of President Uhuru Kenyatta for a second five-year term has resulted in at least 24 people dead on Saturday. Kenya police used live ammunition and tear gas against citizens and opposition officials in order to quell the protest [Guardian report], which they say was a guise to rob and destroy property. Those opposing the reelection have justified their protest, declaring that the election was rigged and opposition leader Raila Odinga was the actual winner. The ballots, however, were recounted and the Elections Observation Group, Kenya's main poll monitoring organization, stated it found no evidence of manipulation. Nonetheless, Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] officials are still requesting [press release] Kenyan authorities to investigate the use of force by police during these protests, attesting that “everyone has a right to peaceful protest and they must not be hurt, injured or killed for exercising that right.”

This is not the first time Kenya has been plagued with the accusations of election rigging as well as accusations of police abusing citizens' rights. In 2007, Raila Odinga claimed an election was rigged resulting in rioting and police brutality thereby causing the killing of 1,200 people. In January current President Kenyatta signed a controversial law [JURIST report], prior to this election, that enables paper recount of votes if the electronic systems fail. Also, in March a rights group urged investigation [JURIST report] into the practices and surveillance techniques of police officers after releasing a report documenting the serious human rights abuses that have allegedly resulted. In February a group of UN human rights experts urged [JURIST report] Kenya to stop crackdowns on human rights group to protect the integrity of this upcoming election. In November a group of UN human rights experts condemned reported violence [JURIST report] against anti-corruption protesters and journalists in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. Last year the International Criminal Court [official website] withdrew charges [JURIST report] against Kenyatta, who was accused of crimes against humanity for post-election violence, but indicated it would renew the charges if presented with enough evidence

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