Dozens of journalists took to the streets of the Kenyan capital Nairobi on Thursday to protest against a growing spate of attacks on journalists and the mysterious death of reporter Joseph Masha. The IFJ condemned the attacks which have left journalists injured, equipment damaged and a growing suspicion around the cause of Standard journalist Masha’s unexplained death at his home earlier this week. The Kilifi-based journalist died a day after meeting with a politician and suspicion about his death has dominated mainstream and social media since news of his death last Saturday. Protestors – including members of IFJ-affiliate the Kenyan Union of Journalists - gathered at Uhuru Park in Nairobi to denounce the harassment. According to press reports since the beginning of this year, journalists from around the country have been subjected to harassment, arrest and torture by politicians and security agents. Recently journalists Julius Kariithi and James Mwangi were beaten up by security guards in Murang’a County as they covered protests over claims a private company had seized land belonging to the local school. They lost one camera and another was damaged. Kariithi also lost a digital voice recorder and his laptop was damaged by a club. The KUJ and other journalists’ associations in the country including the Association of Media Women in Kenya, called Thursday’s demonstration against the violence. IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “We stand in solidarity with journalists in Kenya demonstrating for their right to work free from harassment and threat and call on all authorities to respect their rights. We need a full investigation in to the death of Joseph Masha and action taken against all those who have attacked and abused journalists”.
For more Information, please contact the International Federation of
Journalists (IFJ) – Africa Office
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Tel: +221- 33 867 95 86/87; Fax: +221- 33 827 02