Journalists on the receiving end in Africa, report shows
By AUGUSTINE ODUOR
More than 40 journalists have died and scores of others jailed in line of duty in Africa, a report shows.
The report released yesterday showed that in last year alone, 44 journalists were killed and 145 jailed in the continent.
The report adds that many Kenyan journalists are regularly intimidated. Citing the recent referendum on the new Constitution and by-elections held after the 2007 General Election, the report says various authorities and individuals roughed up journalists who never reported to any media umbrella organisation.
Releasing the report titled Attacks On The Press in 2010, in Nairobi, Tom Rhodes of Committee to Protect Journalists, said Africa holds more elections in a vacuum and journalists are being seen as the opposition.
Gag the media
"Journalists are seen as the opposition filling the democracy gap in most African countries," he said, adding that as a result, most governments have resorted to physical attacks and threats to gag the media.
The report identifies national elections, internal conflicts and security concerns as the potential sources of oppression to journalists in Africa.
Rhodes said as Kenya prepares for General Election next year, any intimidation or threat to journalists should be reported to the East Africa Journalist Association, Kenya Union of Journalists and/or the Committee to Protect Journalists for action.
KUJ Secretary General Jared Obuya accused the Government of actively seeking to reintroduce media control through the Judiciary and the Judicial Service Commission contrary to the provisions of the Constitution.
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