The Isiolo IFA team have raised a red flag that Merti, Kinna, and Isiolo Towns are some of the most violated areas by security forces, including the police, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), and Conservancy Rangers’ activities. There are many cases of disappearances, harassments, and extrajudicial killings. Most of the atrocities committed by security personnel and conservancy rangers are not documented, making it hard to establish facts and achieve justice.
Smartly armed citizen journalists can make a big difference in these areas.
On 26th June 2020, IFA Isiolo Team organized citizen journalism training to help document and tackle these abuses. The training was held to equip like-minded partners and community members for the documentation of injustices and occurrences in their areas.
During the one-day training, seven women and six men were instructed on how to record usable images, video, and audio using their smartphones. They also learned how to most usefully and strategically share the recorded materials.
Intimidation, threats, and confiscation of their phones were some of the fears expressed by participants while documenting abuses. IFA shared with them tips on safety and security to guide them during documentation.
The participants, who come from the most affected areas in Isiolo County, also had a chance to interact with an Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) officer, who informed on how to report cases to them, and talked about victim and witness protection which they provide.
A WhatsApp group was formed so that the members could regularly report and share incidences from their areas.
Story by IFA Isiolo Team