Kenyan journalists should be given more protection in 2023

Journalist cover the vetting of CS nominees at the county Hall, Nairobi on October 17, 2022. [Elvis Ogina,Standard]

Journalists have been facing more attacks and threats from both citizens and the local government. Attacks from imprisoning and arrest warrant.

Due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, unrest in Haiti and the rise in criminal and communal groups, violence against journalists has increased.

More than 67 journalists and media professionals have died his year, an increase of 30 per cent from 2021, according to a report released by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) on the eve of the United Nations Human Rights Day which is observed on December 10 every year.

As per the Brussels-based organisation representing 600,000 journalists in 146 countries, 375 journalists are in prison with China, Hong Kong, Myanmar and Turkey having the highest numbers.

Journalists reporting on insecurity, matters affecting local government, wars and corruption have been the biggest victims.

In 2009, Kenya lost a journalist, Francis Nyaruri from Kisii and to date, the cause of his death is not known.

Journalists always report from the front line and they are not supposed to be harmed. They have a right to a safe working environment and they have to be given protective gear like helmets, reflectors and bulletproof vests.

The issue of journalists getting roughed up by police officers and politicians should end in 2022. Journalists are always accredited by the Media Council of Kenya and given cards for identification.

The government has to take the lead in protecting journalists. Our country should not lose any journalists in 2023 due to attacks by the authorities or politicians.

Some of these journalists are young and they leave behind young families. We should just be human when dealing with journalists. Police officers always rough up journalists. This is not good at all.