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Kenya: Prison officials attack journos

NEW YORK: Prison officials in western Kenya attacked three journalists from private broadcaster Nation Television (NTV) on Sunday 7 August 2011 who were covering an attempt escape of six inmates, this is according to journalists who told the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ),
A guard from Eldoret GK Prison shot at cameraman James Ng'ang'a, destroying his camera equipment and injuring two of his fingers while filming prison guards beat up his colleagues Jared Nyataya and Barnabas Bii of NTV, who were covering the attempts of recapturing the escaped inmates who hid in a nearby church, Ng'ang'a told CPJ.

According to local reports, the prison guards attacked the NTV crew despite receiving orders from a senior prison officer to allow the journalists to carry out their work.

Attack being investigated

"James Ng'ang'a could have lost his life over the violent and totally unjustifiable actions of the prison officials," said CPJ East Africa consultant Tom Rhodes. "This should be investigated and prison officials should be prosecuted if found guilty of any illegal conduct."

Prison Commissioner Isaiah Osugo told NTV on Monday that the incident was being investigated.

Ng'ang'a went to Eldoret Hospital to get medical treatment for his hand and filed a police report at Eldoret Police Station, he said. "I just noticed my camera wasn't working and then looked down to see my fingers were bleeding after the bullet shattered my camera."

Source: Committee to Protect Journalists