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Police raid on Chinese TV station was ill advised

EDITORIAL
By The Standard | September 7th 2018

Wednesday this week, the police raided the offices of a Chinese TV station in Nairobi. The aim was to flush out illegal aliens working on CGTV in line with the directives of Internal Security Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i.

Yet by arresting the suspected aliens then releasing them almost immediately, the police demonstrated they were engaging in a tactless endeavour with the end objective being rent-seeking. The clumsy manner of the whole operation exposed our police as ill-prepared to handle issues that ideally require intelligence, rather than use of brute force.

The correct and best way to do it would have been to go through the HR department, but the police didn’t because quite obviously, they were up to something else. Questions arise; why storm a newsroom? Were the police executing a court order? To any media house, a newsroom is a sacred place where freedom of expression and association are exalted.

The police, therefore, desecrated the newsroom in their pretext of searching for illegal aliens.
Why should the police punish innocent people who bear valid work permits because of a compromised immigration department that has been known to dish out work permits to even masons and carpenters?

The journalists that were arrested are professionals, some of them Kenyan born and would naturally have a work permit. Those officers who raided the TV station demeaned all journalists; they demeaned themselves and unfortunately, the Constitution that protects the rights of all, including non-Kenyans. The Government cannot desecrate the same Constitution it is supposed to safeguard and protect.

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