Kenya: Tear gas fired at protesters amid calls for president to step down

At this point, it feels personal. Angry police are facing off against the defiant young protesters marching against the government across Kenya despite the forceful crackdown.

In central Nairobi, we've seen looks of fury, shock and bitterness on the faces of police officers as they were taunted and pelted with rocks.

The chants to reject a contentious tax bill have been replaced with "Ruto must go", with the dozens of lives lost in the two weeks of protests now at the heart of calls for President William Ruto to resign.

Demonstrators told us they were sick of the corruption and lies.

"We are educated but don't have jobs. We have time and will do this every day until we are heard," one young woman said.

In response, the police forces fired explosive tear gas canisters directly at the backs of unarmed protesters as they ran off.

We've seen some of them catch the non-explosive canisters as they roll across the tarmac and throw them back.

In the more volatile corners, live ammunition and small-arms gunfire occasionally rang out.

At a Medics for Kenya treatment tent, the injured were slowly trickling in on emergency stretchers.

We saw one man with a gunshot wound in his buttock carried through the cordons and into a small room. He was clearly shot from the back.

Soon after, protesters suffocating from tear gas were brought in.

It was only moments before the young volunteer medics were hit by a cloud of tear gas themselves. They urgently washed their faces and quickly got back to treating the patients.

'Do your job and we'll do ours'

When crowds do manage to gather, pickup trucks with plain-clothed and heavily armed masked men drive through them. Larger trucks pick up groups of young men on the streets at random.

One truck had seven unarmed men inside. We asked the officers what grounds they were arresting them on. One said "they look suspicious" and another said "for protesting".

Their commander chased us off, saying: "Do your job and we'll do ours."

Hundreds arrested

Kenya's constitution allows for the right to peacefully protest but Kenya's National Human Rights Commission (KNHRC) says there have been 627 arrests of protesters between 18 June and 1 July. That number is expected to increase.

The KNHRC has also recorded 32 cases of abduction and forced disappearances.

We met prolific commentator and parliamentary policy analyst for the opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), Gabriel Oguda, in his home before the protests started.

He was abducted at 1am on Tuesday 25 June, the day protesters managed to raid parliament.

He said: "It was different to times I have been arrested before. Before people knew where I was, this time no one knew where I was. So I was unsure and panicking. It is like you're arrested for the first time."

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'I don't think Ruto is capable of remorse'

Mr Oguda was back in his living room and happy for his freedom. Hours later, he was on X sharing posts to his more than 900,000 followers that target the governing party and support the growing protest movement.

While he was held incommunicado, he said he was interrogated by security agents who wanted to know if he was leading the young protest movement.

He told them he doesn't even attend the protests but found they were unable to fathom this Gen Z-led movement is leaderless.

He said: "They are dealing with a different generation and that's why you see themselves leading that movement by themselves. They're getting angry like why are you shooting us?

"They are looking for remorse. I don't think he [Ruto] is capable of remorse."