News

June 5, 2019

Kenyan school students attack journalists, set fire to their car

Kenyan journalist Boniface Magana after he was assaulted. Credit : NTV
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns a physical attack on Kenyan TV journalists by school students at their principal’s request and reminds the Kenyan authorities of the need to make the younger generation aware of journalists’ rights.

The attack took place when KTN Kenya News reporter Carolyne Bii and her cameraman, Boniface Magana, went to St. Stephen’s Girls Secondary School in the southeastern outskirts of Nairobi on 3 June to investigate reports that one of its students was missing.

 

After refusing to answer their questions, the school’s principal incited his students to attack them in order to drive them away, with the result that the students threw stones at the two journalists and their driver and then set fire to their car. All three had to be hospitalized for treatment to the injuries sustained in this attack.

 

“This serious case of violence against journalists is all the more worrying for having taken place at a school,” said Arnaud Froger, the head of RSF’s Africa desk. “Teachers should make the younger generation aware of the news media’s importance for the democratic debate, not teach them to hate journalists. We call on the Kenyan authorities to begin exemplary proceedings in this case in order to send a clear message to all those who are inclined to attack media personnel.”

 

Kenyan journalists are often the victims of physical attacks in the course of their reporting. At a court in the city of Nakuru on 23 May, guards roughed up The Standard journalist Daniel Chege and seized his camera because they suspected he had photographed an escape attempt by detainees.

 

Kenya is ranked 100th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index.