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Watch: New Footage Shows Kenyan Police Beating Political Protesters

Police cracked down Monday on protestors railing against Kenya's election oversight body.

Kenyan riot police officers hold batons as they detain a suspected supporter of the Kenya's opposition Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD), during a protest on May 16, 2016 in Nairobi, outside the headquarters of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Opposition protestors led by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga gathered outside the Indepedent Electoral and Boundaries Comission building to demand the dismissal of IEBC commissioners, after alleged bias towards the ruling Jubillee Alliance Party. / AFP / CARL DE SOUZA        (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)
Kenyan riot police officers hold batons as they detain a suspected supporter of the Kenya's opposition Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD), during a protest on May 16, 2016 in Nairobi, outside the headquarters of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). Opposition protestors led by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga gathered outside the Indepedent Electoral and Boundaries Comission building to demand the dismissal of IEBC commissioners, after alleged bias towards the ruling Jubillee Alliance Party. / AFP / CARL DE SOUZA (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

Kenyans don’t go to the polls for a national election until next year. Opposition protesters are already taking to the streets, however, and so are the police, who are willing to use force to send them home.

On Monday, thousands of protesters in Nairobi and other cities took part in the third consecutive week of rallies demanding that the country do away with its Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, or IEBC, which oversees elections. Despite its name, critics say the body is actually biased in favor of the ruling government.

The rallies devolved into chaos as police fired tear gas and chased protesters through streets and alleys, beating them and kicking them with clubs. Some protesters were seen carrying rocks to throw.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga tweeted his support for the protests, which he said were peaceful, and said they would continue until the IEBC saw reform.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration hasn’t taken kindly to the opposition’s calls to action. “They have been disturbing our peace, injuring policemen, we cannot allow that to happen,” Interior Minister Joseph Nkaiserrey said, as reported by Nairobi News.

Footage posted online shows protesters dancing, chanting, and holding signs that read “thieves cannot manage elections” and “thieves must go.” Other videos show police kicking protestors who are already lying in the street and beating people as they flee.

Kenya has a history of violent election disputes. In 2007, ethnic fighting broke out, leaving 1,200 dead, after Odinga protested his loss because of allegations of fraud. Odinga again challenged the 2013 results, but accepted a court ruling against his case.

Watch footage from the protests here:

Photo credit: CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images

Benjamin Soloway is an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @bsoloway

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