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ARTICLE 19 calls for the protection of journalists’ rights and freedoms

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Lack of accountability against perpetrators of attacks on journalists remains a major concern in the country.

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According to Article 19 East Africa, 51 cases of attacks on journalists were recorded between May 2020 and April 2021 a slight decrease from 59 cases recorded between May 2019 and April 2020.

Regional Director Mugambi Kiai says the situation is unacceptable and called on the authorities to increase protection for journalists across the country.

His remarks come as Kenya joins the rest of the world in celebrating World Press Freedom Day.

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“Article 19 EA identified various attacks from phone threats, threats, online and offline harassment, physical assault, media house raids and in extreme cases, killings. Journalists blamed police officers in many of these attacks, “Kiai said.

According to Kiai, Journalists complained of facing challenges arising from a lack of access to information on the status of their case, or any authoritative reports on the investigation, after being followed by victims or their peers to victims.

“Journalists told Article 19 East Africa during an interview in March 2021 that the attacks had forced some of them to control themselves, or forced their relocation because of the perception that the journalists who were attacking them were not happy with the punishment, especially government officials,” he said.

Kiai now says, “The authorities must ensure the protection of all journalists, by conducting a thorough, impartial and credible investigation into all cases of attacks against journalists.

This should include providing information on the progress of such cases. If the authorities actually conduct such an investigation, providing information on the investigation will help to counter the view that nothing is being done. ”

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