Riot Police Tear-Gassing Schoolchildren in Kenya Causes Uproar

Children, Activists Were Protesting Confiscation of Playground for Parking Lot

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Kenyan police who tear-gassed schoolchildren protesting the closure of a playground has caused an international uproar. 

Children, teachers and activists were demonstrating after the playground near the Langata Primary School in the nation’s capital of Nairobi had reportedly been confiscated for the construction of a parking lot, reported Fides.

Videos taken show students—some of whom were as young as six—along with activists pushing, kicking and hitting the wall, which had closed off the playground for the holidays.

Responding to the demonstration, riot police unleashed plumes of tear gas that sent children fleeing.  

According to local sources, the police brought attack dogs and lobbed teargas canisters at the children.

After the incident, some children were treated in hospital. At least one police officer was also hurt.  

As word spread on the police’s actions, thousands voiced anger on social media, including using the hashtag #OccupyPlayGround.  

Kenyan media reported that the police officer in charge of the operation at the playground has been suspended.

Agents reported to have arrived on site to restore order, since the students carried banners that read: «the appropriation of land is violence against children.”

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