Friday, 12 Jul 2013

Radio journalist mistaken for a terrorist

By Jacque Ooko, Internews in Kenya.

Radio Rahma journalist Ibrahim Jaafar Olum mulled over what awaited him as his bus departed from Mombasa to Machakos on a mission to compare how the devolved system of government was panning out in the two counties.
In his wildest dreams Olum never thought that what started with a travel grant award from Internews Free and Fair Media project would end with him spending a night in police in custody.
The journalist’s nightmare began when seven armed policemen intercepted the bus he was travelling in around Emali, about 122km from Nairobi.
They diverted the bus to Emali Police Station where the passengers were ordered out and searched. To his surprise, he was singled out and handcuffed as the other passengers were allowed to proceed with their journey.
Pleas by Olum to convince the police that he was not a member of any terrorism group or involved in terrorist activities, but a journalist on assignment, fell on deaf ears.

He was instead shoved into a car and transferred to the KPA Police Station in Embakasi, Nairobi. He was only released the following day.
In a phone interview he narrates his ordeal to Internews Radio Trainer Jacque Ooko.

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