The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) has broken its silence following an incident in which a Nation Media journalist was brutally attacked by unknown assailants alleged to have acted on orders from Suna East Member of Parliament (MP) Junet Mohamed.
In their Tuesday statement, the MCK urged legal authorities to swiftly pursue the prosecution of the aggressors.
“The Council is concerned that the attack comes a few days after the journalist reported harassment by people following a story he had written relating to Suna East Member of Parliament and the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Minority Leader Honourable Junet Mohammed after the legislator complained about a story,” it reads in part.
“The Council urges the police to investigate the Sunday, July 10, incident reported at Migori Police Station to prosecute the assailants,” adds MCK Chief Executive Officer and Secretary to the Council David Omwoyo.
PRESS STATEMENT: The .@MediaCouncilK calls on the police to investigate an attack on Ian Byron, a journalist working for the .@NationMediaGrp who was assaulted by unknown people on Sunday 10th July at Kakrao shopping Centre in Migori County. pic.twitter.com/Uryhr52sKV
— Media Council of Kenya (@MediaCouncilK) July 12, 2022
The machete-wielding gang attacked the reporter identified as Ian Byron on Sunday, July 10, at the Kakrao shopping center in Migori County.
While riding back home on his red motorbike of make Boxer 150 after doing some shopping, the group of men signaled him to stop.
This was approximately 800 meters from his rural home.
Upon slowing down, thinking they were good people, one assailant removed a machete from his jacket and tried to slash his head.
He ended up sustaining a deep cut on his left leg.
He lost control of his motorcycle and fell as he screamed for help.
The attackers picked up their weapons, jumped into their motorbike that had no registration plate, and fled.
Interestingly, the incident happened a few days after the scribe had reported harassment from threats from people he said were working for ODM Minority Leader Junet Mohamed, who is rumored to be unhappy with Byron’s hard-hitting articles.
“I suspect the attackers were sent by a local politician who has been unhappy with my work. However, I cannot say much because I have reported the matter to the police and I know the police will do their investigations,” he noted.
In a story that was put out last week, Byron placed MP Junet under the spotlight for using government relief food to woo voters in Kakrao Ward, Migori County.
A few hours later, the media house promptly retracted the publication.
The MCK has further noted with concern the rising cases of assault targeting journalists and media enterprises from politicians ahead of the August 9, General Election.
This comes barely months after Moses Nyamori of Standard Digital and Luke Awich of the Star newspaper was reportedly attacked at the precincts of the Chungwa house over alleged stories they carried in their respective publications.
The duo was in March 2022 ejected out of Chungwa House by well-built men under the command of Chungwa House head of security Benard Kadundo.