Kenyan journalists under terror threat?


The threat of terrorism is exposing Kenyan journalists to increased dangers, an international press freedom group said in a report released at the United Nations headquarters on Monday.

Reporters are at risk of becoming victims of violence in their coverage of terrorist organisations such as Al-Shabaab  The Committee to Protect Journalists is an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide  said in the 2015 edition of its annual survey released at the United Nations headquarters on Monday. governments that restrict civil liberties, including press freedom, in the name of fighting terror

In its section on Kenya, the group’s report stated:

“The Kenyan press is being caught in the crossfire as authorities seek to strengthen defenses against terrorists”

The CPJ pointed specifically to the enactment late last year of the Security Laws (Amendment) Bill. It gives the government “the power to stop the press covering terror attacks,” the report said, adding that the law allows Kenyan security forces to “intercept communications and imprison journalists for covering anti-terrorism investigations and operations

In a separate statement issued last week, the CPJ criticized the April 18 attack by General Service Unit officers on two journalists in Tana River County.

Nehemiah Okwembah of NTV and Citizen TV’s Reuben Ogachi were attacked at the Galana Agricultural Corporation Development Ranch. The journalists were pursuing a story on 200 cattle that were seized by the officers.

Kenyan media are apparently much less restricted than news organisations in some other East African countries.

Eritrea tops the CPJ’s list of the world’s “10 most censored countries”, and Ethiopia is ranked as the fourth most repressive state for journalists.

Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki “has succeeded in his campaign to crush independent journalism, creating a media climate so oppressive that even reporters for state-run news outlets live in constant fear of arrest,” the CPJ said in its report.

“Eritrea is Africa’s worst jailer of journalists, with at least 23 behind bars — none of whom has been tried in court or even charged with a crime.”


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