Eldoret Journalists Record Statements after Facing Police Harassment in Langas

Two Standard Media Group Journalists based in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, on Friday recorded statements at the Kapseret Sub County Police Headquarters where they were harassed and assaulted by police officers.

The two Peter Ochieng, a veteran Photo Journalist, and Simon Chepkwony, a cameraperson, had gone to the Langas Police station to cover an incident where police had nabbed bhang from a suspect in Langas estate, after receiving a tip-off from locals.

They arrived at the station, in the company of other Journalists when the exhibit was being offloaded from a police car and after introduction, they started taking photos.

Team of Journalists at Mitihani House During Releasing of KCPE Results on Monday, November 18, 2019.

However, Officer Commanding Langas Police Station on seeing the two taking photos of the nabbed bhang and the suspect, ordered that they be arrested, on claims that they were taking photos of a police station – which was according to him – illegal.

Ochieng was roughed up by four police officers, and as a result of the fracas that led to him being detained briefly at the police cells, he suffered multiple injuries, while Chepkwony managed to slip away from the officers.

The photo Journalist was later taken to the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital for treatment.

Ochieng at MTRH seeking treatment after the incident.

“I thought it was a joke when the OCS told his juniors to arrest me because he is a person that we know each other well. I realized it was serious when they started roughing me up and threw me in the cell, during which the cell grill hit me on the head,” Ochieng told Uasin Gishu News.

“There is nothing that we did wrong, our focus was on the exhibit that was being offloaded from the police car. I had not even started shooting with my video camera,” added Chepkwony.

The video camera and still camera, all property of the Standard Media Group were also confiscated by the Police Officers.

Journalist Simon Chepkwony.

After several hours of push and pull between Journalists that had camped at the Sub County Police headquarters, the two Journalists booked the incident at the police station and later recorded their statements at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

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