Lack of accountability against perpetrators of attacks against journalists remains a major concern in the Country.
According to ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa, least 51 cases of attacks against individual journalists were recorded between May 2020 and April 2021 a slight drop from the 59 cases recorded between May 2019 and April 2020.
Regional Director Mugambi Kiai says the trend is unacceptable and called on authorities to enhance protection for journalists across the Country.
His remarks come as Kenya joined the rest of the World to mark the World Press freedom day.
“ARTICLE 19 EA documented attacks varying from phone call threats, intimidation, harassment both online and offline, physical assaults, invasion of a media house and in extreme cases, killing. Journalists blamed police officers in majority of these attacks,” Kiai said.
According to Kiai, Journalists decried facing challenges stemming from a lack of access to information on the status of their case, or any reports by authorities regarding investigations, after follow up by victims or colleagues to the victims.
“Journalists told ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa during the interviews in March 2021 that these attacks had forced some of them into self-censorship, or forced exile due to the perception that those attacking journalist enjoy impunity, especially state actors,” He said.
Kiai now says, “Authorities must ensure protection of all journalists, by carrying out thorough, impartial and credible investigations in all cases of attacks against journalists.
This should include providing information on the progress of such cases. If the authorities are indeed carrying out such investigations, providing information on investigations it will help counter the perception that nothing is being done.”