A female police officer was captured on camera harassing journalists on Wednesday, September 20. The journalists were covering Lang’ata Cemetery staff staging a strike.
The staff members were striking due to unpaid dues, and the journalists covered the occurrences. In a circulating video, the officer dressed in a blue uniform was seen pushing the journalists. She further threatened the journalists at the scene.
” Remove your things there,” the officer yelled at the journalists.
There was an exchange of words between the officer and the journalists. The officer asserted dominance by threatening them, while the journalists tried to defend their right to record the occurrences.
Before the confrontation and the shoving of the journalists, the officer was seen rushing towards them. She spotted them reporting live at the location and walked to them to confront them.
“We are live at work, we are doing live coverage,” one of the journalists defended herself.
After the officer started shoving them and their equipment, the journalists questioned the reason for such an extreme response from the law enforcement personnel. According to them, they were carrying out their duty which is not illegal as per their awareness.
“Why are you harassing us, this is harassment. We pay you with our taxes and we are at work,” one of the journalists questioned.
MCK against Harassment of Journalists
The exchange between the officer and the journalists comes a few days after the Media Council of Kenya released a Press statement on Tuesday. MCK issued a warning to the people against the harassment of journalists.
Three journalists were covering a security operation at an illegal alcohol brewing den in Matungulu, Machakos County. They were then attacked while covering the news and warranted the response by the Media Council of Kenya.
“We wish to remind you 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,” read the MCK’s statement in parts.
The police officer, however, did not offer any substantial reason to shove or chase the media practitioners from the site.