The case is the latest to rock the East African nation since an overnight curfew was introduced on Friday. Hours before it began, images and videos shared on social media showed police officers firing tear gas and beating and detaining commuters at a ferry terminal in the coastal city of Mombasa. On Tuesday, the government-mandated Independent Police Oversight Authority said it would investigate the incident, along with other reports of excessive use of force by police.
The 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew is among a raft of new policies aimed at halting the virus. Officials have also closed schools and universities, banned religious gatherings and suspended international flights. Kenya had 59 confirmed cases of the virus on Tuesday, and at least one death.
Police officials in Britain and elsewhere are also enforcing restrictions on movement and have sometimes been accused of overreach. There is “a strong temptation for the police to lose sight of their real functions and turn themselves from citizens in uniform into glorified school prefects,” Jonathan Sumption, a former Supreme Court judge, told the BBC on Monday.
The police in Britain have been given an extended set of powers, including the authority to instruct people to leave a place or return home, and issue fines to anyone who is out in public for anything other than necessary shopping, exercising once a day, or traveling to and from essential work. Officers have issued summons for people for taking drives “out of boredom” and reprimanded others for sitting in the park.
In France, more than a quarter of a million people have been fined since restrictions on movement were announced, according to Interior Ministry figures. And in Italy, the country hardest hit by the outbreak in Europe, anyone violating quarantine rules can be fined up to 3,000 euros, about $3,300.
A U.S. judge orders the release of some immigration detainees.
A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that more than a dozen people must be released from federal immigration detention facilities in Pennsylvania by the end of the day, because the detainees’ age or pre-existing health conditions put them at high risk of contracting the virus in the facilities.
Two of the plaintiffs were already showing symptoms, their lawyers said, but had not been tested for it. According to their legal complaint, the plaintiffs have been sleeping two or three to a small cell, or side-by-side in bigger rooms of more than 50, with bunk beds so close that they could bump into each other during the night.