The brutalizing of journalists by individuals in power and security organs has been on the rise in parts of Nyanza, with the attack on Standard Newspaper journalist James Omoro being the latest case in Homa Bay.
This week,police attacked James Omoro, a correspondent with the Standard Group covering Homa Bay county and Ali Abich of Ramogi FM.
The two were covering chaos in the Homa Bay County Assembly when police attacked them injuring Omoro, confiscated his camera and destroyed it.
His colleague, Abich was forced to flee to safety after more anti-riot police came chasing after him for doing what is simply their job.
Omoro moved to recorded a statement with the DCIO at the Homa Bay police station after the attack and sought treatment at Makongeni Sub-county hospital. He has since undergone further tests to ascertain the extent of internal injuries caused on his left shoulder.
According to Kisumu KUJ Chairperson Rushdie Oudia, the attack is the third incident to journalists covering the county assembly of Homa Bay and by extension other counties in Nyanza.
Mr Oudia, in a statement on Wendesday stated that the media fraternity in the region witenessed similar incidences where the police use excess force against journalists covering violence and demonstrations.
“We note with concern such increasing incidents of intimidation and attacks on journalists on duty and therefore demand to know from the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett on whose instructions were the police acting on, was it from the County assembly members or from him?” stated Oudia in an address to the media.
He noted that he government and all agencies ought to uphold the constitutional provisions including that of press freedom as guaranteed in Article 34 of the constitution.
“It is unacceptable and an act of impunity for known individuals to deliberately target and injure unarmed journalists doing their legitimate duty to inform the public.
We have been treated to reforms in the National Police Service in the name of proper housing and bright blue uniforms, but what is the government doing in regards to changing the attitude of police officers and how they handle members of the public.” decried Mr Oudia.
The journalists asked the County Commander of Police of Homa Bay, and the CID boss to institute immediate and quick investigations to identify the culprits and take stern action against them in connection to the recent attack.