Kenya: Calls for inquest after attack on DW journalist

As the world marks Press Freedom Day, calls for Kenyan authorities to investigate an attack against a DW journalist continue. She was covering a protest against COVID restrictions when struck by tear gas fired by police.

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DW East Africa Correspondent Mariel Müller was injured after being hit by two tear gas canisters fired by Kenyan police on Saturday

The German Embassy in Kenya joined an increasing number of voices condemning Saturday’s attack by police against DW East Africa correspondent Mariel Müller, calling for an investigation in a Tweet on Monday.

The embassy account wrote that it was concerned by Saturday’s event “in which DW press correspondent Ms Mueller was injured by a tear gas canister fired by the Kenyan police while she was covering a demonstration. We have requested a swift investigation of the incident from the Kenyan authorities.”

Müller was covering what she called a peaceful protest against police brutality and coronavirus lockdown measures in central Nairobi when she was hit by two separate tear gas canisters fired by police.

DW calls for an investigation

DW’s Director General Peter Limbourg was left to mark World Press Freedom Day writing letters to Kenyan Ministry of Interior, the Director of Police and other authorities in Kenya to call for an investigation into the police attack.

“Such police behavior against the media cannot go without consequences… The freedom of the press has to be guaranteed under all circumstances. Your active contribution to achieving this is called for more than ever as today we are marking World Press Freedom Day”, Limbourg wrote in his letter.

Kenyan authorities yet to respond

Speaking on DW TV on Monday, Limbourg called Saturday’s attack against Müller “shocking,” adding that he could not understand “why Kenyan authorities haven’t reacted yet.”

“I’m not only waiting for an apology, I’m waiting for something to happen that has consequences because this is not acceptable. She was just doing an interview with people in the streets who are protesting against COVID measures,” DW’s director general said.

How did the attack occur?

The Foreign Press Association of Africa and Amnesty International already called for investigations after the news broke on Saturday.

Müller shared her experience of the attack on Twitter, reporting that she had been covering a small protest under the hashtag Njaa revolution.

At the time of the attack, she had been carrying out an interview. Two gas canisters hit her, with the first just grazing her, while the other struck her directly.

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