Friday, March 03, 2006

KENYAN RATTLESNAKES

"If you rattle a snake, you must be prepared to be bitten by it."
So said Kenya's Internal Security minister John Michuki yesterday, following violent raids on the offices of the Standard newspaper and Kenya Television News.
Masked and armed police moved in on the Standard's offices and printing presses in the early hours of Thursday.

They seized tapes and destroyed equipment. Thousands of copies of the newspaper were burned.

A similar raid was carried out at the Kenya Television News (KTN) station.

Kenya's other leading daily, the Nation, reported that several ministers - including Local Government Minister Muskari Kombo and Health Minister Charity Ngilu - were furious at the raids.

They have demanded that those who authorised the action be identified and punished, the paper said.

"I believe in the freedom of the press," Mr Kombo said on Thursday. "I have in the past been unhappy with irresponsible journalism, but that... is not a reason to deal with the press in a barbaric way."
In the words of one commenter on the BBC website:
This government of self-declared snakes better beware. There is an electorate of mongooses waiting to remove you.
And here they are, outside the Standard's offices listening to opposition MPs condemning the raids as barbaric:


Reporters sans Frontieres have more.

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