Editors demand action against cops harassing scribes
Kenya Editors Guild (KEG) yesterday condemned continued assault on journalists by the police and demanded action against officers involved.
The KEG president Churchill Otieno yesterday wrote to the Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai to express concern about the increasing number of attacks on journalists since the beginning of the year.
He asked Mutyambai, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Independent Policing Oversight Authority to ensure justice for the victims and punishment of offenders.
“We demand the immediate arrest and arraignment of the police officers involved in the grievous assault against freedom of the media,” Otieno said.
KEG also demanded that police commanders of the divisions where the attacks took place be held accountable for the actions of officers under them.
At least six journalists have been assaulted in the past week, with some of them having their tools of trade damaged and confiscated while in line of duty.
Among the victims are Wanjohi Githae of Daily Nation and Brian Obuya of KTN who were assaulted on January 10 at Kilimani Police Station.
Two days later, Robert Maina of Inooro TV was beaten and his equipment confiscated by officers from Njoro Police Station in Nakuru county as he covered a students demo at the Egerton University.
On January 13, Laban Walloga of Daily Nation was attacked by police officers in Mombasa town while covering protests against the Standard Gauge Railway cargo policy.
“These attacks against journalists amount to assault against constitutional guarantees of media freedom, perpetrated by presumed guardians of law and order,” Otieno said.