Nairobi News

Must ReadNews

Pauline Njoroge arrest: Alai asks Ruto to respect freedom of expression

Kileleshwa Member of County Assembly and blogger, Robert Alai, has asked President William Ruto to respect media freedom and bloggers in Kenya in the wake of the arrest of Pauline Njoroge, an opposition allied blogger and an official of Jubilee Party.

In a statement on Monday, Mr Alai expressed deep concerns over the escalating threats, attacks and arrests of bloggers and new media journalists in Kenya.

He also accused the government of walking the path of a former notorious regime which was known for kidnapping, and sometimes killing dissidents; and now planting drugs on detractors to intimidate them into silence.

“Blogger Bogonko Bosire who was disappeared some 10 years ago can’t be traced to date. Bloggers like Cyprian Nyakundi, Abraham Mutai, Dikembe Disembe, Jimmie Bonnie, Eddy Illah, Edgar Obare among others have all been on the wrong side of the law for doing nothing but just disagreeing with the government,” Mr Alai said.

Also read: Itumbi rants over charges against Pauline Njoroge, calls for Jubilee blogger’s release

“We call upon the Kenyan government to uphold freedom of expression and protect the rights of bloggers and new media journalists to report, critique, and provide valuable insights without fear of reprisal,” he added.

“In a digital age where information is freely accessible, blogging plays a crucial role in amplifying diverse voices, fostering open discussions, and holding those in power accountable. It serves as a vital alterna4ve to traditional media and provides a platform for citizen journalists to share stories, opinions, and perspec4ves that may not be covered by mainstream media,” Mr Alai further said.

He went on to call on President Ruto to protect media freedoms and promote dialogue and tolerance where dissenting voices are valued and respected.

Also read: I was not drunk, Uhuru says on angry reaction at his son’s home

“By safeguarding the rights of bloggers and new media journalists, Kenya can demonstrate its commitment to democra4c values, free expression, and media pluralism. Embracing a diverse media landscape will only serve to strengthen the na4on and build trust between the government and its people,” Alai said.

“We stand in solidarity with Pauline Njoroge, all other bloggers, even those who don’t agree with us, and new media journalists in Kenya and across the globe. We reiterate that freedom of expression is a cornerstone of democracy and must be protected at all costs,” he said.

His statement comes after Ms Njoroge was finally produced in court today following her arrest last week. Initially, the police said she had been found with narcotics in a car she was travelling in as well as her hotel room in Watamu, Kilifi County but in court, the Director of Public Prosecutions charged her with unrelated crimes.

Ms Njoroge is facing charges of computer misuse and cybercrimes, publication of false information and cyber harassments. She is alleged to have posted content regarding law enforcers using vehicles bearing South Sudan number plates to raid people.

Ms Njoroge is also facing charges of damaging President William Ruto’s reputation on her verified social media pages that boast huge followings.

Also read: Itumbi shamed for ‘stealing’ comedian’s content to boost government’s image