Journalists on Thursday bore the brunt of an apparent targeted police brutality for the second time. Four journalists covering the opposition’s demonstrations on March 30 sustained injuries and had their instruments damaged.
KTN News videographer Timon Abuna and his colleagues Eric Isinta (NTV) and Mauritius Oduor (Citizen), as well as a videographer attached to the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition party were injured. The journalists suffered head and facial injuries after police officers aimed and shot teargas canisters directly at them, using teargas launchers, the impact of which knocked all of them out.
The police shot countless teargas canisters at the demonstrators, who responded by throwing stones at them. The Azimio convoy, which had planned to head towards the Nairobi Central Business District (CBD), was forced to turn back. Videographers and photographers from several media houses were seated at different car roof racks, a vantage position that allows them to follow the events effectively.
Journalist’s position made easy targets for the police, many of whom aimed directly at them. The same thing happened during Azimio’s protests on Monday. Several crews faced the wrath of police officers who were all too eager to shoot (like yesterday, the officers did not lob hand-held canisters, choosing to use launchers instead) teargas canisters at them.
By Martha Biginga.