A six-month-old baby, who who was injured during a police raid after the announcement of disputed election results in Kenya, has died, her family has said.
Samantha Pendo had been in a coma since Friday after sustaining head injuries when police stormed homes in a slum in western Kisumu city.
Her father, Mr Joseph Abanja, told Kenya’s privately pwned Daily Nation newspaper:
“I demand justice for my daughter. She was not protesting, her father was not protesting. Her mother was not protesting. Yet they killed her.
I did as I had been told; to vote and go home. They followed us there and hit us.”
At least 24 people were killed in violence which broke out after the 8 August election, according to a Kenyan human rights group.
Samantha’s parents accuse police of firing tear gas into their house, battering down the door, and then attacking the couple with batons. Samantha, who was being cradled in her mother’s arms, was left fighting for her life with head injuries.
The government maintains that looters and thugs were the only victims of violence following last week’s disputed election. But local media have carried many similar stories of raids on private homes.
In one incident in a Nairobi slum, a nine-year-old girl was shot dead on Saturday as she stood on her family’s balcony, hit in the back as police fired shots to disperse protesters in the street below.
On Friday, Kenya’s election board announced that President Uhuru Kenyatta had won a second term by a margin of 1.4 million votes. Veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga, 72, said the elections results were fake and that he actually won.
In response Odinga supporters mounted sporadic protests in Kisumu and the Nairobi slums that are his strongholds. Odinga accused security forces of deliberately beating and killing residents during crackdowns on the protests.
“Our response was lawful and proportionate,” Police Inspector General Joseph Boinnet told Reuters. “We are investigating (the Pendo case). No sane police officer would hit a child.”
Baby Samantha has become a symbol of the bloody crackdown.
“We are not thugs, we are not thieves. We are just a family,” her father said, his hands and arms swollen and scraped from the beating he says he received.
Foreign observers said the poll was credible.