Dakar, Senegal (PANA) - The global press freedom watchdog, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), on Friday urged the Kenyan authorities to investigate "threats" made against two journalists, Osinde Obare and David Musindi.
According to a CPJ statement received by PANA in Dakar on Saturday, Osinde Obare, a reporter for the private daily "The Standard" and David Musindi, a journalist for "Radio Citizen", both face threats for running stories on a police raid at a market in the western Kenyan town of Kitale.
The market had allegedly been selling fake maize seeds and Obare's article cited members of the public saying that the market owner, Mahindra Khetia, was protected by the police and therefore avoided arrest.
When the journalist's report was published, Luca Ogara, the police chief in Kitale, called Obare, asking him why he wrote a negative story on the supermarket and the police. The official also told Obare there "would be repercussions".
However, the police chief told CPJ that he did not threaten Obare, but that he had asked him for his sources. On 8 April, the journalist received an anonymous call warning him to "never set foot in Kitale".
The two jouranlists also told CPJ that they have been followed by unidentified men since they covered the story, and that they have been forced to hide in an undisclosed location.
"Journalists in western Kenya are repeatedly targeted by local officials for their corruption coverage," the press freedom watchdog said.
"Kenyan authorities must end this practice, and they should start by immediately investigating these threats against Osinde Obare and David Musindi."
CPJ recalled that in January 2009, assailants brutally murdered Weekly Citizen journalist Francis Nyaruri shortly after his coverage of a police housing scandal in western Kenya.
-0- PANA MLJ/MA /14April2012