Kenya: Police fire tear gas at protestors over TV station closures

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Police in Kenya fired tear gas at demonstrators on Monday during a protest demanding the reopening of three TV stations closed for covering opposition activities.

The Kenyan government shut down three private television channels after they aired coverage of an inauguration ceremony for opposition leader Raila Odinga, who says he was the rightful winner of last year’s presidential election. The government has since defied a court order calling for the stations’ transmissions to be restored.

Tear gas fired at protestors

More than 100 protestors were attempting to march to government offices in Nairobi when police officers fired tear gas upon them. The demonstrations come as the aftermath of Kenya’s botched election last year continues to stretch on. Raila Odinga, who pulled out of the countries second election attempt, calls himself “the people’s president”, insisting he was the rightful winner of last year’s election.

Opposition part NASA held an inauguration ceremony last week, swearing in Odinga as the rightful winner.

Police didn’t shut down the event but three TV stations that attempted to air coverage were closed by the government, which called the inauguration an act of treason.

Kenyan government criticised

Kenya’s media shutdown has prompted criticism from the United Nations, members of the international community and various rights groups. Odinga’s symbolic inauguration was attended by tens of thousands of supporters and the event was allowed to conclude without any trouble.

However, three opposition politicians who participated in the inauguration were arrested and two lawyers also present were detained last week. The opposition politicians have since been released but there’s no update on the status of the two lawyers.

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.