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Media council calls for probe into journalists’ mistreatment

By Jael Mboga | December 27th 2020 at 14:54:05 GMT +0300

Kenyan journalists demonstrating in Nairobi in 2015. [File]

The Media Council of Kenya has criticised what it called continued attacks and harassment of journalists over the last few days by the police.

The council has documented two incidents in the last few weeks where KBC’s Simon Ben based in Nakuru and Muraya Kariuki of Royal Media Services (RMS) in Nairobi were ill-treated and harassed by the police.

In a statement on Sunday, the MCK said it takes such despicable actions by uniformed officers against journalists as a violation of human rights and press freedom.

The council urged the relevant public agencies to urgently investigate and prosecute the perpetrators.

“We are petitioning the Independent Police Oversight Authority and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights to establish the circumstances under which police assaulted journalists with a view to holding them responsible,” said council CEO David Omwoyo.

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The council has written to Ipoa with the details of the two cases, calling for action into the two incidents.

According to Omwoyo, MCK has on several occasions brought to the attention of the police Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai the many pending cases of attacks against journalists reported in several police stations whose investigations have either stalled or never taken off.

“We are not taking this inaction by relevant agencies for granted in cases relating to harassment of journalists by uniformed officers, and where necessary, the council will take action against the identified officers.”

Omwoyo went on, “Media Freedom is a constitutional right provided for under Article 34 of the Constitution and should be protected by all, led by law enforcement agencies.”


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