Story By: Ernest Bio Bogore, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
Cops in some African countries have been filmed brutally beating citizens for breaking new local coronavirus lockdown rules.
The shocking scenes were recorded as many African nations have brought in strict curfews to stop the spread of COVID-19.
In one video, a group of police officers in the Ivory Coast can be seen beating a man lying on the ground with batons for reportedly breaking isolation rules as soon as the curfew from 9 pm to 5 am was introduced on 24th March.
Another clip filmed in Senegal shows an officer repeatedly beating another man with a baton after lifting him off the ground next to a motorbike. He had reportedly broken the country’s curfew from 8 pm to 6 am.
And a third clip, again filmed in the Ivory Coast, shows one man sitting on the ground in fear as officers corner him and swipe their batons towards him.
Reports state that some medical staff at the Aristide Le Dantec Hospital in Senegal’s capital Dakar had left the hospital at around 5 pm before being trapped by the curfew and beaten by cops.
Outraged by the lack of discernment of the police, Professor Alain Khassim Ndoye, urologist and teacher at the University Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD), said: “They spent their day in the operating room. They were surprised by the lack of public transport when they left at 5 pm.
“Some of them walked to the station where they said they had been subjected to violence by the police and then walked back to the hospital and spent the night there.
“I’m talking about the medical staff who are close to me, but that’s true for all those who continue to work in these extreme conditions. Senegal didn’t need that on top of it.”
In Benin, student associations decided to boycott classes because of the high number of students attending packed classes, reportedly up to 1,000 in one classroom. However, reports say the police went to the University Of Abomey-Calavi, not far from the capital Cotonou, in an attempt to force the students to go back to school.
A violent clash was reportedly sparked and a student named Djaho Theophile was allegedly shot by the police.
The President of the National Federation of Students of Benin, Wenceslas Akakpo said: “He was fleeing in front of me when one of the police pick-up vehicles chased him and a policeman shot at him. Was it a live bullet or a white bullet? That remains to be seen.”
According to reports, in Kenya, Amnesty International “continues to receive testimonies from victims, eyewitnesses and video footage showing police gleefully assaulting members of the public in other parts of the country.
Reports say that in Rwanda, the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to impose a lockdown, police have denied that two people shot dead Monday were killed for defying the new lockdown measures, saying the men attacked an officer after being caught.
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