Sports Journalists Association of kenya (SJAK) has condemned the manner in which Daily Nation photo-journalist John Njoroge was manhandled by goons.
In a letter addressed to FKF CEO Barry Otieno, the SJK Organizing Secretary Moses Wakhisi wrote: “I am writing to you today as a representative of the Sports Journalist Association of Kenya, to express our deep concern and unequivocal condemnation of a distressing incident that transpired during the recent football match between Nairobi United and Zoo FC on Sunday, August 6th, 2023.”
Wakhisi continued: “It has come to our attention that Photographer John Njoroge, a distinguished member of the Nation Media Group, was subjected to an unacceptable and deplorable act of harassment by a group of fans. These individuals demanded the deletion of recorded footage, particularly related to a pitch invasion, and even went so far as to attempt the forceful confiscation of his camera. This incident egregiously violates the fundamental rights of journalists and stands as a challenge that we believe warrants your immediate attention and intervention.”
“ We urgently implore the Football Kenya Federation to take stern and unambiguous measures against the individuals responsible for this reprehensible act, as well as the club so as to underscore the gravity of their fans’ behavior. Mr. Njoroge has diligently reported this deeply troubling incident to the Central Police Station in Nakuru, with the capability to identify the individuals accountable for his mistreatment. We however, beseech your unwavering commitment to address this matter with the urgency and gravity it deserves.”
“Let us unite to send a clear message that harassment of journalists, particularly within the realm of sports, will not be tolerated. The sanctity of press freedom and the security of journalists are essential tenets of our democratic society and must be rigorously upheld. We look forward to your prompt action and assurance that the Football Kenya Federation will take resolute steps to rectify this situation and ensure a safer environment for sports journalists in the future,” wrote Wakhisi.