Thursday, March 02, 2006

Press Freedom: Letter to Kibaki

On March 2, 2006 government forces raided the headquarters and printing plant of the Standard Group. In addition to destroying equipment and newspapers, they shut down the KTN news station.

This latest attack follows the jailing of three journalists from Standard Newspaper, attacks on Citizen Weekly, and ongoing harassment of journalists by government-sponsored forces.

I urge you to condemn these attacks and to support freedom of the press and call for the immediate release of the journalists.

Cut and pasted from 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 it 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.

Some have claimed that this is an attack on the intellectual freedoms of Kenyans but intellectual freedom as you put it comes with responsibility. We as intellectuals can not always run behind the cover of intellectual freedom if we cannot practice that freedom responsibly like Americans always say the cost of freedom is not free. We all know about the media in Kenya, we have even at times been critical of their irresponsible journalism. So let reason reign and maturity have its way.

3/02/2006 05:03:00 pm  

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