GSU officers beat journalists covering riots

PHOTO | BILLY MUTAI NTV cameraman John Otanga displays his damaged video camera at Coptic hospital on January 20, 2013. Otanga and Nation photographer Dennis Okeyo were assaulted by GSU officers while covering the riots in Kibera.

Two Nation Media Group journalists were on Sunday night assaulted by General Service Unit officers as they covered riots in Kibera.

The officers confiscated their cameras’ memory cards and other valuables despite the journalists identifying themselves.

Mr Dennis Okeyo, a Nation photographer and Mr John Otanga, an NTV cameraman, were attacked at an area known as Karanja.

The two had been assigned to cover demonstrations by youths in connection with the political parties’ nominations last week.

According to Mr Fred Mukinda, a Nation reporter who accompanied the two, when they arrived at the scene, they found the GSU officers ordering everybody passing by to raise their hands.

Mr Okeyo identified himself to the officers and showed them his press card.

However, the officers beat him, grabbed his camera, confiscated the memory card and took more than Sh2,000 from the photographer.

Mr Otanga was hit on the head as he attempted to help his colleague. Both were taken to Coptic Hospital where they are receiving treatment.

Police boss David Kimaiyo directed the officer in charge of Nairobi to investigate the incident.