- Kenya's anti-militia force has been accused of mistreating journalists covering its operations in the western Mount Elgon region.
Paris-based media rights watchdog, Rapporteur sans frontiers has condemned media brutality, and urged Kenyan authorities to "ensure that the rights of the media are respected."
“Firstly, Kenyans have a right to know what is going on in their country when the army carries out operations of this scale, so it is unacceptable that the media are being sidelined,” RSF said, believing, "there is no excuse for soldiers to use force against the media. Journalists are protected by laws and conventions which the military are required to respect. It is the job of Kenya’s civilian authorities to ensure the military realise this.”
The military has been doing all it can to flush out an armed group accused of murdering dozens of people belong to a rival ethnic group. Sabaot Land Defence Force claims to be defending land owned by the Kalenjin group.
Bakari Juma, a cameraman of privately-owned 'NTV' was not only arrested for filming the
anti-militia troop's movement, but he was also taken to a military base at Kaptoka where his camera was confiscated.
Earlier, several journalists had become victims of soldiers' brutality near Cheptais, an area declared a no-go area for the press. Most journalists were arrested, forced to kneel down, slapped several times before they have their shots deleted.
The army sealed off the entire region, barring even members of the International Committee of the Red Cross have access to the area.
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