Nation journalist arrested by Nakuru police
A photojournalist working with the Nation Media Group in Nakuru was on Tuesday morning assaulted, harassed and arrested by police officers on a traffic operation. Suleiman Mbatiah was approached by a group of about 10 police officers in plain clothes who demanded an explanation as to why he was taking photographs of their operation. A scuffle ensued during which his camera was broken and he was injured on his left arm.
According to Mbatiah, the officers who were not dressed in uniform failed to identify themselves when they approached him and instead manhandled him. He was later arrested an locked up at Central Police Station following the officers' complaints that he had assaulted them. Two other journalists, KNA's James Gitau and Kameme's Sam Kimani who were present at the scene and were also taking photos reported being manhandled by the officers. "They threatened to arrest us after we inquired why they had arrested Mbatiah. However, when they saw a few other photojournalists recording the confrontation, they sped off towards the station with Mbatiah in custody," Gitau said.
According to the police, Mbatiah is accused of assaulting numerous police officers, resisting arrest, obstructing police officers from conducting their duties and an additional traffic offence of crossing the highway at an illegal area. He was expected to be arraigned in court yesterday afternoon after recording a statement.