As the World marks World Press Freedom Day, it is clear that journalists are still facing attacks and intimidation in the line of their duty as recorded by Article 19 East Africa.
Article 19 East Africa Regional Director Mr Mugambi Kiai says attacks against journalists are still high and that fifty one such cases have been recorded between the Months of May 2020 and April 2021.
Kiai revealed that out of the fifty one cases, twenty five took place between the last and first quarter of the year 2020 and 2021 respectively.
“Although this is a slight drop from the fifty nine cases recorded between May 2019 and April 2021, where nine are female cases, the cases are still high and unacceptable”, Kiai affirmed.
He cited that during the monitoring period, Article 19 East Africa documented attacks varying from intimidation, phone call threats, harassment, physical assaults, invasion of a media house and in extreme cases killing, e.g the murder of Betty Barasa, a senior video editor and TV producer at KBC.
Police have been blamed a lot on these attacks and authorities should come to the rescue of individual journalists targeted.
“Authorities must ensure protection of all journalists including carrying out thorough impartial and credible investigations into all cases of attacks against journalists” Kiai said.
Article 19 East Africa works across the region in partnership with other National and regional organizations and mechanisms to safeguard freedom of expression and information and to create solidarity networks aimed at achieving this goal.