In response to the ongoing detention of The Times’ East Africa correspondent, Jerome Starkey, at the international airport in the country’s capital Nairobi, Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, said:
“The Kenyan authorities’ continued failure to formally inform Jerome Starkey of why he has been detained and to allow him access to his lawyer amounts to arbitrary detention. He has the right to know why he is being held and upon what grounds.
“We are monitoring the situation closely, and if it transpires that Jerome is being held due to his reporting, this would be a flagrant violation of his right to freedom of expression. Journalism is not a crime.”
Jerome Starkey, who has reported for the UK newspaper The Times from Kenya for last five years, was detained on his return from London at 9:45 p.m. on December 8. He has yet to be told why, more than 18 hours later.
Amnesty International spoke to his lawyer, George King, who said he had been prevented from meeting his client by police at the airport.