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Kenyan Journalists Protest on World Press Day

Every year on May 3, World Press Day seeks to celebrate the role of journalists while demanding for greater journalistic freedom, and this Sunday Kenyan journalists held a protest march to demand respect for their profession and an end to the killing of journalists, the Daily Nation reported.

Led by officials from their unions and associations, journalists marched through the streets of Nairobi Sunday. The Kenya Union of Journalists, Media Institute and International Commission of Jurists also took part in the demonstration Sunday. There was little to celebrate and the government deliberately gagged them, members of the Press said.

Protesters attempted to deliver a petition to the attorney general’s office demanding independent investigations for the death of Francis Nyaruri, a media practitioner who was murdered in Nyamira early this year.

However, they were told that he was out of office, and asked to seek him on Monday.

Nyaruri was one of two journalists who has died in mysterious circumstances since the year began, journalists said. Two weeks after he went missing, his mutilated body was found dumped in Kodeka Forest near Oyugis in Rachuonyo District.

Before he disappeared, Nyaruri received death threats after publishing a story on irregularities and embezzlement of funds by senior police officers.

“It is close to four months since he died, but investigations have unearthed nothing so far,” said Bob Wekesa, a member of the Kenya Journalists Association. (Daily Nation)

Citing the Communications (Amendment) Act, they said they were concerned at MPs’ reluctance to prioritize it.

“It took huge efforts for the government to grudgingly agree to expunge a bad section from the Act, although this has not been done yet,” said KUJ’s secretary-general Eric Orina. (Daily Nation)