Being a journalist is a dangerous profession. In Nairobi, Kenya a reporter for the German publication DW was struck by two tear gas canisters.
Attacks on journalists are a common occurence as governments increasingly attempt to stop the dissemination of news. It happens in autocratic countries. It happens in America, too.
Excerpted from Deutsche Welle 5.2.2021
Police fired tear gas canisters at DW’s East Africa correspondent Mariel Müller (shown above) while she was covering a protest in Nairobi. Amnesty International and the Foreign Press Association of Africa have condemned the attack.
Müller said that police appeared to be purposefully aiming at her and the camera crew.
She approached authorities afterward, telling the officer who had been firing the canisters: “You just shot me, you just hit me in my leg.”
The officer denied it and walked away, “but he knew exactly what had happened,” Müller said.
Kenyan authorities fired tear gas canisters at Müller with one canister grazing her and a second injuring her leg while she was conducting an interview.
Müller was covering a peaceful protest against police brutality and coronavirus lockdown measures in central Nairobi at the time of the attack.
Around 40 protesters gathered to voice their opposition to COVID restrictions and the economic impact on poorer communities. The demonstrators were careful to adhere to social distancing rules “to not anger the police,” Müller told DW.
“The police were there and observed the first part [of the protest] and then eventually started firing tear gas,” Müller said.
The first time Müller was struck, she said she was grazed by a canister when police began launching tear gas in the direction of protesters and reporters.
Police moved in with batons and detained several demonstrators. One man was shoved in a truck after police tried to take away the sign he was holding.
Amnesty International’s Kenya branch also called for authorities to launch an investigation, and slammed “the brutal attack on journalists and protesters” in Nairobi.