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Kenya: Safety training for journalists in response to increasing dangers in region

20 Dec 2012

ARTICLE 19 has staged a series of practical safety training workshops for more than 20 journalists from Eritrea, Somalia and Rwanda, in response to the increasing risk of in these countries. 24 journalists in total attended the four day session, which ends today (20 December 2012).

“Journalists and human rights defenders from Eritrea, Rwanda and Somalia face particular security challenges, yet they have few skills and little knowledge about how to best protect themselves and how to minimise risks that they may face in the course of their work. The training has been designed to help them to safely continue do their important work. Fear of being attacked or threatened often leads to self-censorship, anything that can be done to make these people safer, protects the free flow of information in society and that is something which is vitally needed in these countries. People need information to participate in the democratic process,” said Henry Maina, Director of ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa.

The training, which was supported by the European Commission, focused on physical safety, digital security, international and national legal frameworks that govern freedom of expression and media ethics.

Journalists were also provided with skills and knowledge about how to create strong networks which they can then use to press authorities to ensure that there is accountability for violations on freedom of expression.

“It was a very timely and practical training on safety and protection and the knowledge I have got will go a long way in ensuring that my work space is secure,” said Gonzaga Muganwa, a journalist from Rwanda.

"The training has assisted me to realise that as a woman journalist there are many things I can do to ensure my safety while in the field," said Faduma Abdi Warsame from Somalia.

“This training has made me realise that as journalists we should be at the forefront of advocating for accountability for attacks on the media. Hence, there is need for creating strong solidarity networks and documenting attacks on freedom of expression,” said Mohamud Hirabe from Somalia.

ARTICLE 19 will conduct further training on the safety and protection of journalists and human rights defenders in early 2013.

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