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Police have themselves been implicated in online surveillance and, at times, in directly threatening and physically attacking journalists.In some cases, police have arbitrarily arrested, intimidated, or harassed journalists, such as John Ngirachu.We did additional telephone interviews with journalists based in Bungoma and Siaya counties in western Kenya, Elgeyo Marakwet and Nakuru counties in the Rift Valley, Mombasa and Lamu counties at the coast, and Nyeri county in central Kenya.These towns were selected for research to cover the geographic breadth of Kenya, and because each has a concentration of journalists and bloggers.In total, we spoke to 60 journalists and 10 bloggers in eleven of the 47 counties, four print media outlets, six television stations and three FM stations.We interviewed journalists from print and electronic media, from both public and independent stations, but a large proportion of those interviewed work for independent newspapers and FM stations.
The government has attempted to obstruct critical journalists with legal, administrative, and informal measures, including Human Rights Watch and ARTICLE 19 documented 17 separate incidents in which 23 journalists and bloggers were physically assaulted between 20 by government officials or individuals believed to be aligned to government officials; at least two died under circumstances that may have been related to their work.
In 2015, Kenyan authorities threatened to ban two foreign journalists working for an international media outlet for reporting on alleged police death squads implicated in extrajudicial killings.
Senior editors of media outlets critical of the government say that authorities have called for specific journalists to be sacked.
A Kenyan journalist participates in a protest in the capital, Nairobi, against draconian new laws restricting media freedom that were presented in parliament, December 3, 2013.
© 2013 Thomas Mukoya/Reuters On November 3, 2015, Joseph Nkaissery, Kenya’s cabinet secretary for interior and national coordination, appeared before the Parliamentary Accounts Committee to answer questions about millions of dollars his ministry allegedly paid irregularly to suppliers, the bulk on the last day of the budget year.