REGIONS:

SUBSCRIBE:

Sign up for weekly updates

Harassment reaches new heights during Kenya elections

Members of civil society groups protest the killing of electoral commission information technology manager Christopher Msando, at a demonstration in downtown Nairobi, 1 August 2017
Members of civil society groups protest the killing of electoral commission information technology manager Christopher Msando, at a demonstration in downtown Nairobi, 1 August 2017

AP Photo/Ben Curtis

The following is an excerpt of a 7 August 2017 CPJ blog post.

When a fight broke out during a political rally for Kenya's Orange Democratic Movement in Kakamega county on May 4, Shaban Makokha was taking pictures for his newspaper, the Daily Nation. Makokha told CPJ that when police arrived to break up the fight, they demanded that he stop taking pictures, even after he identified himself as a journalist. He said that he was beaten by the officers and detained for two hours.

Makokha's experience is not unusual among journalists covering the run up to Kenya's general elections, which are scheduled for tomorrow. Eight Kenyan journalists with whom CPJ spoke say they have been assaulted, intimidated, or threatened since April while covering election campaigns. Authorities in recent months have also imposed restrictions on reporting and social media use. "Being harassed is becoming like a normal thing," said Makokha.

Makokha's attack was the third time within a month that journalists were harassed or threatened at Orange Democratic Movement and Jubilee rallies and meetings in Kakamega county. Erick Oduor, secretary-general of Kenya Union of Journalists, told CPJ he has received at least two reports per week of journalist harassment over the past few months, and said that he thinks many more cases go unreported.

Read the full blog post on CPJ's site.

Latest Tweet:

Condenan a 30 años de prisión al asesino del periodista Danilo López https://t.co/EgrNmUYKzM @ObserCerigua… https://t.co/LxTcH4EcEp