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Police under fire for journalists' harassment

25 October 2013, 09:14

Nairobi - Media and human rights groups criticized plans by the police to arrest two journalists for alleged improper reporting of the recent terror attacks in the upmarket Westgate Mall in Nairobi.

The criticism follows a statement by Inspector General of police David Kimaiyo stated that he had plans to arrest two Kenya Television Network (KTN) news channel reporters after the channel aired a story that exposed looting by uniformed forces during the mayhem that followed the attacks Al Shabaab sect members have claimed responsibility.

The Inspector General had ordered the two journalists to record statements with the police but later withdrew the summons.

The moves have been criticized as an affront to media freedom.

“The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) strongly believes that instead of issuing such threats, what we should be seeing are resignations and formulation of an independent commission to probe the Westgate scandal,” said Eric Mutua, the LSK chairman.

The Kenya Union of Journalist (KUJ) rebuked claims by the Inspector General that the two journalists failed to show “loyalty” to their country by giving details of the happenings inside the Westgate mall siege that lasted for four days leaving over 60 people dead and scores of others injured.

During the attack, uniformed forces were seen carrying goods in what was termed as looting contrary to government claims.

The government had earlier defended the soldiers against looting claims calling on individuals to present evidence over the looting reports.

– CAJ News



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