Kenya: Nation Media Group Condemns Police Attack on Journalists at JKIA

(file photo)

The Nation Media Group has condemned police attack on journalists on Monday night at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the scene of drama over the past two days as lawyer Miguna Miguna was denied entry into Kenya.

Clifford Machoka, Head of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs at the media company, said the firm would address the Ministry of Interior and the Inspector-General of Police on the injuries inflicted on NTV cameraman Robert Gichira and the destruction of his camera by police officers.

VIOLENCE

"This level of violence against Kenyan workers going about their job is shocking not just to the Nation and Kenyans, but the civilised world as a whole.

"It constitutes a crime by the State against citizens, and is an egregious breach of Chapter Four of the Constitution - the Bill of Rights, particularly the freedom of the press," said Mr Machoka in a statement.

He added: "The brutalising of Kenyans by the government - which is becoming an almost daily occurrence - is not a confirmation of the Government's democratic credentials, quite to the contrary."

I'm suffering in JKIA cell -- Miguna

The nightmare of Miguna Miguna

Orengo 'serves' Immigration with Miguna court order

Miguna Miguna sues State over visa issue

At the same time, the Committee to Protect Journalists called on the authorities in Kenya to investigate the assault.

"Authorities in Kenya cannot resolve their political disputes by beating up journalists," said CPJ Africa Programme Coordinator Angela Quintal from New York. "Kenyan authorities must urgently investigate this attack and put an end to any assaults on the press by security personnel, including police forces."

CPJ, which watches out for the security of journalists across the world, sought answers from the Kenyan authorities.

SECURITY

Police spokesperson Charles Owino declined to provide comment to CPJ, and Inspector-General Joseph Boinnet of Kenya's National Police Service did not respond to two phone calls and a text message seeking comment on Tuesday evening.

Ministry of Interior spokesperson Mwenda Njoka told CPJ that the journalists had been in a restricted area of the airport.

On Facebook, State House Director of Digital Dennis Itumbi appeared to praise the police for the attack, saying the police had "done well."

CPJ said that when they talked to him later, Mr Itumbi said that he "did not have the complete story" about whether journalists were "beaten" at the airport and directed anyone hurt during the incident to file a formal complaint.

MIGUNA MIGUNA

Mr Gichira and Mr Stephen Letoo of Citizen TV were attacked as they covered the drama at the airport, where Mr Miguna was still being held after he refused to apply for a visa and to apply for citizenship to be allowed back in the country of his birth.

The self-declared general of the National Resistance Movement is understood to have travelled on a Canadian passport but wanted his Kenyan passport handed back to him at the airport. In February, he was deported in yet another dramatic episode.

The High Court on Tuesday evening ordered his release but authorities refused to receive the court order, forcing his lawyers led by Siaya Senator James Orengo to stick them to the wall of the Immigration Department's offices at the airport.

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Nation

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.