16 August 2018

Kenya: Police Free Two Nation Reporters in Mombasa

Two Nation Media Group journalists who were arrested for filming the construction of a hotel that has encroached into the Indian Ocean have been released.

Karim Rajan (NTV cameraman) and Laban Walloga (Daily Nation photographer) were released unconditionally following the intervention of Bamburi OCS Stanley Muinde.

Police however declined to speak to the media on the arrests.

According to Mr Rajan, Mr Muinde told the contractor that the two could not be held at the station because they were doing their work.

DELETE FOOTAGE

The contractor had called the police after he found the journalists filming the construction in Shanzu, Mombasa.

The hotel is associated with a top government official.

"This is shocking. I was doing my work when the workers under supervision of the police manhandled me. They asked me to delete the pictures I had taken but I refused," Mr Walloga, a Daily Nation photographer, said.

Mr Rajan was however forced to delete his footage before he was taken to the station.

NMG Editor-in-Chief Tom Mshindi welcomed the release of the journalists, adding that it was not fair for them to be arrested while going about their duties.

POLICE CONDEMNED
The International Centre for Policy and Conflict executive director Ndung'u Wainaina also condemned the arrest of the journalists terming it "abhorrent and repugnant".

Mr Wainaina demanded a response from the National Police Service on the circumstances that led to the incident.

He also urged the Director of Public Prosecutions to ensure those responsible are prosecuted.

"Crimes against journalists must end. Journalists must be allowed to do their work without harassment, intimidation and incarceration," Mr Wainaina said.

He said the arrests were meant to silence the media's campaign against corruption.

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