Teacher dies after beating in police cell, sparking protest

August 17, 2011 4:06 pm

, NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 17 – Students of Loreto Kiambu High School staged a major demonstration at the local police station on Wednesday over the death of one of their teacher who was allegedly beaten by police officers at the cells. 

The teacher who the dean of the school had been arrested at Kiambu town on Sunday night and taken to the station where he was allegedly beaten by police officers after he protested his arrest. 

An official of the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) Mwaura Kamau told Capital News that the deceased teacher was able to notify his colleagues of the beating and they were allowed by police officers to take him to hospital on Monday morning.

“When he called one of his colleagues in the morning, he was in much pain and that is when he was taken to the Kiambu district hospital for treatment. Yesterday (Tuesday), doctors there advised that he be transferred to the Kenyatta National Hospital where he died after undergoing an operation,” Mr Kamau said.

According to Mr Kamau, the deceased teacher was operated on after a scan revealed some of his internal organs were ruptured.

“And before he died, he narrated how police officers went to the cells and beat him up because he had been protesting why they had arrested him in the first place. We will not let this matter rest here,” he said and vowed that the union would mobilise a major demonstration in the coming days to protest the death of the teacher.

The deceased teacher was identified as John Kariuki who taught Biology and Chemistry.

Teachers at the school told Capital News that the family of the deceased had been informed of the death.

Students interviewed by Capital News described the deceased teacher as “humble and very cooperative.”

“He was one of the best teachers here, he usually took his time to explain concepts to us and we really liked him very much,” one Form Four student Naomi Wangare said.

Learning was interrupted at the school for the better part of Wednesday afternoon to allow students participate in a demonstration to the Kiambu police station where they waved twigs and placards, demanding justice for their fallen teacher.

“It is just not fair, for him to die like that. Although we don’t know exactly what happened, we have heard that he was beaten in the cells and died in hospital later,” she said.

Kiambu police commander Samuel Mukindia has assured that a thorough investigation will be undertaken to establish circumstances under which the teacher died.

“All the officers who were on duty at the station on the night the teacher was arrested will be interrogated. We are taking the issue very very seriously because we also want to know what happened,” he said.


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