NCIC condemns circulation of gruesome photos of Wajir attack victims

Blogger Robert Alai has accused NCIC of failing to address serious issues affecting Kenyans such as ethnicity and the tribal fights in Marsabit. [Courtesy]
The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has condemned the social media circulation of gruesome photos portraying dead bodies of police officers following a terror attack in Wajir.

NCIC directed blogger Robert Alai and any other person sharing the photos to pull them down.

The statement signed by commission secretary Hassan Mohamed added that the photos glorify acts of terrorism and create fear among police officers.

The commission said the photos, if shared, will hurt victims' families and interfere with the country’s unity.

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“Whereas Alai has the freedom of expression, such publication can be interpreted as propaganda for war which is not protected under the Constitution of Kenya,” read the statement.

On the other hand, the National Police Service (NPS) also condemned sharing of their departed colleagues' photos terming the act unpatriotic, uncouth and low.

In a statement signed by director of Corporate Communication Charles Owino, NPS cautioned Kenyans against callously disregarding common decency of showing respect to the departed and their families

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NPS said it was disappointed to note that some individuals had opted to callously disregard common decency of showing respect to the departed and their families by circulating the gruesome photos on social media.

“The unfeeling act of posting pictures of our fallen heroes online by one blogger is very unfortunate and inhumane,” read the statement in parts.

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Alai, however, accused the NCIC of failing to address serious issues affecting Kenyans such as ethnicity and the ongoing fights in Marsabit which threatens cohesion.

“I haven’t seen NCIC condemn ethnic appointments in government or address the real issues threatening cohesion like the current fights in Marsabit,” Alai wrote on his Twitter.

He added that the commission is only after silencing people addressing real issues.

The blogger claimed he was told by police officers to highlight their issues.

Alai bowed to pressure and pulled down the photos but vowed to engage the commission on how best to boost officers' morale.

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At least seven Administration Police (AP) officers were killed on Saturday after a vehicle they were travelling in was hit by an explosive.

Wajir County Commissioner Loyford Kibaara, who was speaking at Wajir County Referral Hospital, said the incident happened in Wajir East Sub County.

“We have received seven bodies of our officers who died in an Improvised Explosive Device attack today (Saturday) morning at around 10.50am,” he said.

Mr Kibaara said the incident happened about four kilometres from Konton centre along the Kenya-Somalia border.

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CICRobert AlaiHassan MohamedWajirWajir East Sub CountyLoyford Kibaara