Ruto’s Brutal Violence on Journalists Must be Condemned by All Kenyans and the International Community Now

6 mins read

Here is the frightening response of a terribly injured Kenyan journalist after being brutally attacked by the Kenya police and security officers.

‘’Kwani sisi tulikosea nani- how are we expected to do our job and take care of our families? Kwani wakitupiga ndio wanapata promotion?” A disgusted journalist told me today when I called her after receiving information that she had been beaten up by security officers in Nairobi while covering Azimio protests.

“I overheard one of the guys standing next to us in Kibra saying they will attack journalists and forcefully take our phones and camera. They take our photos and display them exposing us to the police. I quickly asked my colleagues that we leave that area, for our life is more important than any story,” one crime reporter told me.

A lady journalist who had been clobbered by the police in Kericho sobered severally and was unable to narrate her ordeal, only able to wonder what crime she did to warrant such a beating. In Migori, they hurled teargas into a room occupied by journalists.

In Embakasi, they attacked five journalists, robbed them off, and beat one leaving him for dead. He has stitches on his head. Several media crews have had their vehicles attacked and damaged badly.

How can the Ruto regime justify this absolutely gross violence against journalists? Are the Kenyan journalists the new Raila for Ruto?

The violent abuse of these Kenyans simply doing their work is so gross it is hard to watch but it is what it is and we can’t hide from it as Kenyans and neither should the international community including Western Foreign Embassy officials in our country.

Kenyans are not dumb. They feel and are mad about what they are seeing in front of their own eyes.

And here is a report not from Kenyan journalists but from Africa Uncensored which is pretty sad by itself.

From what the whole world has seen in Kenya just in the last one week, being a journalist in the country is the most dangerous profession in the world today. Why is that the case for the William Ruto regime? This is a crime against Kenyans and a crime against humanity because these journalists who are victims of Ruto’s crimes against them have no chance or any hope for justice in their own country.

The pictures of the police and security agents attacking journalists are all over and very clear, but they continue committing those crimes because they have the protection of the Ruto government and will never be held accountable for their crimes. That is what crimes with impunity look like. That is where the ICC and the international community come in.

In this case, whether the election August 9, 2022 election results were fair or not is irrelevant. We have a government in power ruthlessly brutalizing Kenyan journalists in the most horrible way possible. What is the international community doing about this? Right now, they are doing nothing basically telling Kenyans that if your president wants to attack and kill you they don’t give a damn.

This is part of the Kenyan police attack on journalists.

It is time for Azimio leaders and our human rights organizations to formally present the case of our journalists facing existential threats under the violent Ruto dictatorship to the international community.

Take this serious clear cases and evidence to all Western Embassies in Kenya, to the UN, and to UNESCO which has taken very serious stands against violent attacks on journalists across the world. We don’t have to wait until our journalists are killed by Ruto. Many of them have been injured and disabled for life. That is enough. It is time to save journalism and those who work in that profession in our country.

International community representatives in Kenya have to be asked to take their responsibilities in our country seriously or just leave us alone to fight it ourselves. This is the time to do it. We do not need empty suits from the international community that always talk about human rights but keep quiet in the midst of persistent government brutality against journalists in Kenya doing their jobs.

Adongo Ogony is a Kenyan Human Rights Activist and Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada

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