Two online journalists were abducted and tortured by officers from the Special Crimes Unit over an expose that detailed and uncovered alleged corruption at Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KURA). The expose unmasked various stalled road construction projects in the Nairobi metropolitan area granted to a company connected to an MP from Mandera County.
The journalists, Mr Jack Okinyi of Business Illustrated and Milton Were of Kenya Today were abducted by the police after they were lured to a hotel in Upper Hill. Okinyi was the first to be arrested from Upper Hill and driven to Mlolongo after being beaten up and wrapped in a trash paper before they traced Were and nabbed him. The two journalists are said to have been taken around the city before they were booked at the Capitol Hill police station.
According to the journalists, officers from the Special Crimes Unit were used in the kidnapping. They, however, insist that the story was indeed factual and it involves the contractors and officials from KURA. They are being held at the station ahead of their questioning.
Lawyer Demas Kiprono and his counterpart Dudley Ochiel, counsels for the two online journalists have questioned the police procedures, saying that the two were okay, but had not been allowed to see their lawyer or officially booked. The lawyers are still at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) Headquarters awaiting for official statements.
“Yesterday, 2 Journalists who did a corruption expose were arrested, bounced through four police stations, have not been booked and not been allowed to see their lawyer,” Said Mr Kiprono.
Police have been used to harass bloggers and journalists, in matters that are considered civil, in an attempt to silence them, contrary to Article 33, which guarantees every Kenyan the freedom of expression and Article 34, the freedom and independence of electronic, print and all types of media.