The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) is seeking justice for journalists who were assaulted at a Nairobi club during a shisha crackdown.
MCK made the move after it condemned the attacks against journalists, describing it as an interference with the role of the media to keep the country informed on matters of public interest.
It urged the Inspector General of the police together with the Director of Public Prosecutions to ensure the perpetrators are brought to book.
“By targeting journalist who were only performing their duties, the attackers were clearly seeking to interfere with the media rights to inform Kenyans on matters of importance that affect their lives,” said MCK CEO, David Omwoyo, in a statement.
What’s more, journalists who were attacked had accompanied the National Authority Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NACADA) officers during a shisha raid on the night of January 5.
MCK Seeks Compensation
“Following the attack of journalist during the NACADA raid at the Kettle bar and Grill, this time we have decided to go further apart from the normal statement, we are moving to court to demand a compensation for the injuries of journalists and their equipment that were destroyed,” said MCK CEO
Furthermore, Omwoyo expressed deep concern about the growing audacity of those obstructing journalists, vandalizing their tools, and distracting them on their duties.
How the Attack happened
“The whole idea is: if you own a space where journalists come under attack, you will be held responsible for compensating them for injuries and trauma caused and all destroyed equipment.
We are getting into spaces that people are taking it for granted, attacking journalist, stopping them from accessing places and destroying their equipment,” asserted the CEO.
The saga took a dramatic turn as police officers, journalists, and NACADA officials raided the popular joint, setting the stage for confrontation with bouncers.
According to reports, the club’s bouncers turned aggressors, assaulting journalists and destroying their equipment.
A court in Nairobi issued a warrant of arrest against ten of the employees who failed to appear in court on Wednesday.
Consequently, Defense Cabinet Secretary Adan Duale emphasized that the owners of shisha dens must face the law regardless of their status or political affiliations.
“Regarding of your status and political affiliation owners of shisha dens must face the law.
Attacking journalists and law enforcement officers is illegal, primitive and immoral. We must protect the family from Drug abuse,” said Duale.