The Media Council of Kenya on Tuesday condemned an attack against three journalists who were covering a security operation at an illegal alcohol brewing den in Matungulu, Machakos County on September 18, 2023.
The council rebuked the attack stressing that journalists need to do their work without fear, owing to their crucial role in informing the public.
MCK went on to emphasize the Media’s freedom of speech calling on the public to respect reporters’ work and support them as they fulfill their mandate.
“We wish to remind members of the public that freedom of the press is a fundamental pillar of a democratic society, and journalists play a crucial role in keeping the public informed by highlighting societal evils. It is essential that journalists can carry out their work without fear of violence or intimidation,” MCK’s statement read in parts.
“Attacks on journalists not only violate their basic human rights but also undermine the principles of free speech and open discourse that are vital for a healthy society. We call on all citizens to respect the essential work that journalists do and to support their right to report the news without fear of harm.”
Further, the media council urged law enforcement institutions to bring the journalists’ attackers to book.
“Attacks on journalists are crimes that go against the journalists' rights and privileges protected by law under the Constitution and the Media Council Act, 2013. Protecting the safety and freedom of journalists is a shared responsibility, and we must all work together to ensure that they can continue to do their vital work without fear of violence or reprisal,” MCK went on.
Additionally, the media body implored anyone with complaints about any media practitioner or media house to report the matter to the Complaints Commission instead of taking matters into their own hands.
The journalists in question, Mike Ndunda from Kamba TV, Athiani FM's Richard Muasya and Boniface Mutisya of Mutongoi TV were attacked as they covered the illicit brew raid in Katine area, by a group of unknown assailants.
They sustained serious injuries with Ndunda bearing the brunt of the assault.
Consequently, they were rushed to Ruai Hospital, Tala branch for medical attention.
So far two suspects have been arrested by Machakos County police boss Patrick Lobolia and his team, in connection with the incident.
- . . . . .