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Kenyans describe officer who attacked journalists as embodiment of police brutality

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The recent anti-government protests in Kenya have taken a violent turn, with journalists bearing the brunt of the brutality.

A plainclothes police officer has been caught on camera targeting occupants of a vehicle carrying journalists, firing tear gas canisters inside the car and seriously injuring four journalists.

This officer has been described as trigger-happy, angry, and menacing, with a rush to fire tear gas canisters even at bystanders without provocation.

The officer has been largely profiled on social media for his actions, which did not begin on Thursday. On March 20, he was captured firing tear gas canisters without a care in the world, even at journalists with press jackets and badges on.

The officer’s actions have attracted anger and consternation against the police leadership, which is yet to distance itself from the officer’s actions.

Since the protests began, more than 25 local and international journalists have been attacked by state and non-state actors.

The Media Council of Kenya has expressed outrage over the attacks, describing March as the darkest month in the history of local media. The council intends to take legal action against the National Police Service, citing deliberate attacks.

Protecting press freedom and safety is a cornerstone of democracy, and the United States ambassador to Kenya has condemned the attacks on journalists. I

It is imperative that the Kenyan government takes action to ensure the safety of journalists and to hold those responsible for attacks accountable for their actions. Without press freedom, there can be no democracy, and the government must ensure that journalists are free to report on events without fear of retaliation.

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