Horror as teargas canister fired at NTV cameraman's face, KTN journalist hurt
It was another bad day for Kenyan journalists after a police officer fired a tear gas canister at NTV cameraman Eric Isinta's face and wounded him. Standard journalist Timon Abuna was also wounded in the head during the attack.
The incident happened in Embakasi Thursday as Raila Odinga's convoy was travelling through Pipeline amid protests.
Trouble started after the Azimio leader left Kware to join the Outer Ring road at the intersection with Mombasa road. It was at this point that the police vehicles with water cannons blocked Mr Odinga’s motorcade and started spraying it with water.
According to witnesses, as this happened, a police officer who was standing next to the water cannons hurled a teargas canister at the convoy carrying Mr Odinga's public address system.
A targeted attack from dozens of tear gas canisters followed that affected a number of journalists including Mr Isinta. All occupants of the vehicle were taken down and scattered from the scene despite their injuries.
Witnesses also reported seeing a plain clothes officer smash the vehicle's windows and fire teargas into the car to smoke the occupants out.
On Thursday evening, Mr Odinga published photos taken from the scene.
The Azimio leader condemned the incident and other similar ones, saying the violence was unprovoked.
“This is the third time the police are disrupting our meetings without any provocation. As we do this we are within the constitution and one day those in charge will be held to account,” said Mr Odinga as he maintained that the Monday and Thursday demonstrations are still on.
Meanwhile, in Kisumu, Citizen TV cameraman Dismus Nabiswa was seriously injured by looters during protests. They reportedly pelted him with stones for filming them as they looted in Nyamasaria.
The attacks are an escalation of violence against journalists that was first witnessed on Monday where reporters covering protests across the country found themselves becoming part of the story after they were attacked by hooligans and police in different areas.
In Monday's protests, some of the places where journalists reported being attacked were Kawangware, Mathare, the Nairobi city centre and former President Uhuru Kenyatta's Northlands farm, which had been invaded by goons.
Journalists reported facing hostility from both rowdy crowds and police officers, who said they "do not want to see cameras" as they went about their activities.