Human rights organisation urges government to uphold media freedom

Journalists in Mombasa hold demonstrations to demand speedy investigations into the mysterious deaths of their colleagues in September 2016 PHOTO:COURTESY

Mombasa, KENYA: Muslims for human rights (MUHURI) in commemoration of world press freedom day has asked the government to be accountable for the way it handles corruption especially cases involving highly placed officials.

The organization through its Executive Director Hassan Abdi Abdille, also took the time to appreciate the role of the Kenyan media praising it for bold journalism.

At the same time, they condemned the action of the government shutting down several media houses early this year and barring them from broadcasting the ‘swearing in’ ceremony of opposition leader Raila Odinga as the people’s president after he boycotted a re-run of the 2017 election.

Addressing the media on Thursday in Mombasa, he termed the actions as an infringement of press freedom.

“This unfortunate incident has blemished and stained the country’s image and remains a bad stain and utterly condemnable… we are yet to see any prosecution made for persons that were allegedly accused of breaking the law with respect to the media shutdown casting doubt on whether there was really any evidence of wrongdoing to begin with.” read part of the statement.

While applauding yesterday’s state of the nation address by President Uhuru Kenyatta, MUHURI has also called upon the government to walk the talk of prosecution of corrupt individuals mostly high profile cases of corruption and not just use it for convenience in politics.

“In order to support the efforts made by the media in highlighting the issues of rampant corruption in our country, we urge that the talks of prosecution of high profile cases of corruption in government should no longer be a moniker used for political expediency…. such a promise should not just remain in writing as it has traditionally been but should be immediately dealt with.” read the statement.

The world marks world press freedom day annually on the 3rd of May. This year’s theme is keeping power in check: Media, Justice and the rule of Law.