Forty-seven Nairobi University students were sentenced by a Kenyan High Court on Monday (July 24) following last week's demonstrations against motorists in and around the University grounds.
GV Mounted policeman controlling crowd outside High Court
CU Crowd outside court
CU Policeman holds gun at his side TILT UP TO two policemen
CU Bespectacled policeman
GV Crowd outside court PAN TO police van waiting to take away prisoners
CU Insignia on side of van
CU "Harambee" crest above High Court doorway
CU Mounted policeman PAN TO crowd (2 shots)
MV Arrested students out of building PAN TO students being escorted into van, door locked by police officer (5 shots)
MV More students leave court and enter second van (2 shots)
GV Van drives away
Initials OS/2203 OS/2220
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Background: Forty-seven Nairobi University students were sentenced by a Kenyan High Court on Monday (July 24) following last week's demonstrations against motorists in and around the University grounds.
Fifty-five students were arrested on July 18, and committed for trial after they had built branch and fire barricades across roads, stoning passing cars and attacking police sent to remove the obstructions. Of the 55, the 47 who pleaded guilty were each fined 3,000 kenya shillings (over GBP150 or 375 dollars) or six months imprisonment. They were refu???ed bail and, since none could raise the fine, were all imprisoned. The other eight will be tried at a later date.
The students claimed that they were protesting against indiscriminate drivers who sped through the University grounds and surrounding streets, causing accidents and hazards to the student pedestrians.
SYNOPSIS: Police were called out to control crowds outside the Nairobi High Court on Monday, as fifty-five university students went on trial for demonstrating last week.
The students, arrested on July eighteenth, had been protesting against motorists who drove their cars through the University grounds and surrounding streets. Claiming that the drivers continually drove at speed, endangering the lives of the pedestrian students, the demonstrators had placed tree branches across the main roads and, in some cases, started fires. As cars stopped or attempted to drive round the barricades, the students hurled stones and bottles at them. When police arrived to clear the way, they were also attacked and stoned. It took thirty policemen about twenty minutes to disperse the demonstrators and clean up the roads -- arresting the fifty-five most active of the protestors.
Of the fifty-five on trial, forty-seven pleaded guilty -- and were sentenced to pay a fine of three thousand Kenya shillings each, or face six months imprisonment. Since they were refused bail and none could raise the fine, they were taken off to jail amid protests from the crowd outside the courthouse. The demonstrators had claimed that they had been asking for traffic restrictions for months, to no avail. They said they had requested bumps to be put into the roads to make cars reduce speed; and that they wanted police patrols at specified crossings. Police retaliated with denouncements of the students -- saying that they should realize they were a "privileged" group, who should compare their lot with that of the taxpayers who provided for them. The Police Commissioner also stated that university students should remember that there were many schoolchildren -- much younger than themselves -- who daily crossed dangerous streets throughout the city without r???sorting to violent protests. And, he added, the deploying of police to cope with university traffic problems and rioting students, could only leave the rest of the city unprotected against thieves and other criminals. He also pointed out that the university students seldom used a pedestrian tunnel constructed under the main Uhuru Highway, specially built after student complaints some years ago.