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Reporters Under the Gun in Kenya


When the chairman of the National Commission on Human Rights has to run for his life, you know you have a problem: 

Media Institute is concerned by the deteriorating media situation in Kenya with increasing threats to journalists and human rights activists who have made public criticism of the political crisis resulting from the disputed elections.

On January 28, journalist Paul Ilado of the daily “Nairobi Star” filed a statement with the police after he received numerous death threats by the violent pro-government “Mungiki” militia. Ilado had been exclusively covering reports of alleged government threats to human rights activists, who have gone into hiding, including the chairman of the government’s own National Commission on Human Rights, Maina Kiai, who fled the country on January 24. Kiai had publicly criticised the government’s conduct of the elections.

In addition, the “Mungiki” militia, which has become notorious for brutal murders, issued a broad threat to major media houses and listed senior editors and journalists on their hit list. They included Nation Media Group Managing Editor Joe Odindo, “Standard” newspaper Managing Editor Kipkoech Tanui, Kenya Television Network Managing Editor Linus Kaikai, and reporters Robert Nagila (Nation TV) and Paul Ilado.


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