Journalists 'slept' in newsroom

"We were doing our job, we had the right to do this, and if I was to do it again, I'd do it the same way," NTV senior anchor and reporter Ken Mijungu told Reuters after an anxious night spent conferring with lawyers and wondering if police would appear with arrest warrants.
Arrest "We were doing our job, we had the right to do this, and if I was to do it again, I'd do it the same way," NTV senior anchor and reporter Ken Mijungu told Reuters after an anxious night spent conferring with lawyers and wondering if police would appear with arrest warrants.
Image: 123RF/ scanrail

Three Kenyan journalists spent the night in their newsroom yesterday in fear of arrest, watching plain-clothes policemen camped outside.

Lawyers were expected to file court petitions yesterday morning seeking to ensure their freedom.

Their station, NTV, was one of three independently owned stations shut down by Kenyan authorities on Tuesday after they broadcast live coverage of an opposition ceremony symbolically "swearing in" opposition leader Raila Odinga.

"We were doing our job, we had the right to do this, and if I was to do it again, I'd do it the same way," NTV senior anchor and reporter Ken Mijungu told Reuters after an anxious night spent conferring with lawyers and wondering if police would appear with arrest warrants.

He said his colleagues, Larry Madowo and Linus Kaikai, had all been independently warned by security sources on Wednesday that their arrest was imminent.

In the early evening, when men they believed were plain-clothes police appeared outside their office building, they were advised by the station's management to stay inside.

By morning, the men were still in their newsroom.

"Our head of security said he has reason to believe they have gone for reinforcements," said Madowo, 30, who was producing coverage on Tuesday before authorities took NTV off air.

The stations would stay off air indefinitely, the government said on Wednesday, as it investigates the symbolic oath by Odinga, directly challenging President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Interior Minister Fred Matiang'i accused media organisations of facilitating the "illegal act", which he said put the lives of thousands of Kenyans at risk.

Also on Wednesday, police arrested Tom Kajwang, an opposition lawmaker who
administered Odinga's "oath".

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