Thursday, March 02, 2006


Press Freedom: Letter to Kibaki

Dear President Kibaki,

On March 2, 2006 armed police raided the headquarters and printing plant of the East African Standard Group. In addition to destroying equipment including the printing presses and burning newspapers, they shut down the Kenyan Television Network television station.
This latest attack follows the jailing of three journalists from the East African Standard newspaper, attacks on the Citizen Weekly, and ongoing harassment of journalists by government-sponsored forces.

I urge you to:

1) Condemn these attacks in the strongest terms possible.
2) Dismiss any member of your government who played a role in the attacks.
3) Live up to your promise to support freedom of the press.

Please copy and paste a copy of this letter on your blog.

You may alter the wording to suit your needs. Campaign started by Keguro.


Blogger Joseph Walking said...

Let me begin by quoting the official police statement

"Evidence pointed to an intention of inciting ethnic hate and animosity leading to a breach of the peace," the statement added. "The police have evidence of monetary inducement being used to perpetuate this activity which involves a series of fabricated articles aimed at achieving instability."

It is always easier to react emotionally to situations instead of critically analyzing situations before making statements, demands or even parading yourself in the streets demonstrating against things you do not understand.

Let be clear that I have never been a supporter of the kibaki government from the beginning (when you all refused to vote for the project)but as a policy analyst in public administration let me say that the state has every right to use what ever means at its disposal to safeguard the country. Having said this it is upon both sides to act responsibly. The fact that the government reacted so sternly makes me wonder and think that they could be telling the truth. Why does the standard print false stories how do we know that the government isn’t right that it is being used to create conditions that can lead to instability.
What we should be demanding is that the proper channels we used to bring to justice anyone found to be breaking the law. The government has the right to act pre-emptively but after the fact the people have the right to see this evidence that the security organs have. Accountability must be ensured. If the evidence can not be produced for security reason, the parliamentary standing committee on security which is bi partisan should be fully briefed.

5:38 PM  
Anonymous James said...

I note the concerns contained in the previous comment.The standard Newspaper should refrain from over-victimising itself and apologise to the whole of Kenya for publishing untruths.This is despite its important role in the unearthing of graft by corrupt mionisters ( and I may add, its duty is to do just that'.The fact that it is, to a great extent, owned by the Mois and others that suppressed the freedom of expression does not do it any good.

However, I fully agree with the observation that the actions of the government are an embarassment. These colonial tactics perpetrated against innocent watchmen as well as legitimate businessmen and the whole nations as a whole is unacceptable.

The most unfortunate thing is that we may be forced to choose between a rougue government and careless journalism.

2:46 PM  

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