Police in Kenya are investigating a horrible incident where a group of unidentified individuals disrupted a press conference and physically assaulted journalists in Homabay town, Kenya last weekend.
The journalists had gathered to cover a statement by a section of Luo elders when the assailants appeared and began attacking them.
Nation Media Group (NMG) correspondent George Oduor was beaten up and injured during the incident.
According to eyewitnesses, the attackers specifically targeted journalists who were filming or taking pictures of the press conference. Several journalists were injured in the attack, and their equipment was damaged or destroyed.
Homa Bay County Union of journalists’ chairperson James Omoro has condemned the incident and called on the government to improve the safety of journalists in the area.
“We are defying the constitutional rights of journalists when we attack them. Homabay County youth should respect journalists and refrain from such acts,” noted Omoro.
The incident has been condemned by media organizations and human rights groups, who have called for an investigation into the attack and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
Presshub Africa’s Ann Wairimu expressed concern over the safety of journalists in Kenya, and has called on the government to take action to protect press freedom.
“We cannot allow our country to start back tracking on the gains that we have made in expanding our media space and democracy, the Homabay incident is unfortunate and uncalled for, “she observed.
The attack on journalists in Homa Bay is just the latest in a series of incidents in which journalists in Kenya have been targeted or intimidated for doing their work. In recent years, journalists have faced threats, harassment, and physical attacks, often in connection with their coverage of sensitive or controversial issues.
The attack on journalists in Homa Bay is a disturbing reminder of the risks that journalists face in many parts of the world, where press freedom is under threat and those who seek to hold the powerful accountable are often targeted and persecuted. It is essential that journalists are able to do their work without fear of violence or intimidation, and that those responsible for attacks on journalists are held accountable for their actions.