CPJ: Kenyan journalists assaulted by police at Nairobi airport

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The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is calling on authorities in Kenya to investigate the assault of journalists by police at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

According to CPJ and various reports, at least two journalists were attacked by police as they covered the attempted return of opposition politician, Miguna Miguna. Stephen Letoo, a political reporter with the privately owned Citizen TV network, and Robert Gichira, a cameraman for Nation TV channel, told CPJ that they were beaten by police at the airport.

Police accused of beating journalists

Journalists from various stations and media houses were present at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Monday afternoon to report on a standoff between Miguna Miguna and immigration. After Miguna was prevented from entering the country he was detained by security officials and police officers later started verbally and physically harassing journalists who were covering events, CPJ reports.

Journalist Stephen Letoo spoke about his experience on Citizen TV Kenya, describing how he was beaten. pushed and kicked by officers at the airport. He also told CPJ that he momentarily lost consciousness and walked away with injuries to his limbs and abdomen. Letoo says he received treatment at an airport hospital and was discharged two hours later.

Meanwhile, cameraman Robert Gichira says he suffered injuries to his arms and legs after being attacked by police and broadcast reporter Sophia Wanuna narrowly avoided being hit by a baton after her cameraman intervened and stopped the police officer approaching her.

CPJ is calling on Kenyan authorities to investigate the conduct of police surrounding Miguna’s attempted return to the country.

Featured image:By Nairobi123 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34806681

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.