Coast based journalists have expressed dismay over assault and arrest of Nation Media Group Journalists Karim Rajan and Laban Walloga.
Led by Coast Media Forum Chair Maureen Mudi and Kenya Union of Journalists Coast chapter Malemba Mkongo they condemned police for harassing the two renowned journalists adding that media personnel should be allowed to do their work.
The journalists who rushed to Bamburi police station Thursday afternoon immediately after the heinous attack on veteran NTV’s Cameraperson Karim Rajan and Daily Nation’s photographer Laban Walloga said that is was unacceptable for police to condone such inhumane act.
Ms. Mkongo said that journalists are only playing their role in highlighting issues affecting the public and should not be persecuted in anyway.
“We demand for an official police statement over the arrest of the two veteran journalists who were covering the construction of Dolphin beach hotel along the beach line,” she added.
On his part, Muslims for Human Rights Executive Director Hassan Abdille strongly condemned the act saying that journalists have been in the forefront in fighting impunity and corruption in the country and they should not be persecuted.
Abdille expressed his shock over the unfortunate incident saying that it was uncalled for and demanded for an official police statement as to why Mr. Rajan and Mr. Walloga were detained at Bamburi police station.
According to Abdille, Journalists are the society’s defender and if assaulted, the fear is directly instilled into the society.
“MUHURI is equally perturbed by the unfortunate, inhumane and unconstitutional act by Bamburi police station officers, this was choreographed to instill fear and demonize journalists, it is totally unacceptable,” added Mr. Abdille.
However, when contacted, Mombasa County police commander Johnston Ipara denied that Karim and Walloga were arrested by Bamburi based police officers, though journalists who camped outside the police station in solidarity maintained that the two were assaulted, arrested and detained at that particular police station.
They were later in the evening released unconditionally without any charges leveled against them.