Kenya: Journalist assaulted and killed at her home

Brussels, April 9th, 2021 – 

Betty Mutekhele Barasa, a senior video editor and television producer working for the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC), was assaulted and shot dead at her home in Nairobi, on 7 April by unidentified gunmen. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Kenyan Union of Journalists (KUJ) in condemning this heinous crime and urging the Kenyan authorities to launch a thorough investigation into this killing to ensure justice for Ms Barasa.

Betty Mutekhele was shot twice while her family was held hostage by the assailants. According to her family, three men had been waiting for her to arrive from work and two of them were armed with AK-47 rifles. 

The assailants stormed the house, ransacked it and killed the journalist with two shots in the head. According to local media reports, her husband who was in the house at the moment of the assault said that, while in their house, one of the attackers made a call saying they had completed their mission.

After the shooting, the gang stole her laptop and her mobile phone.

The KUJ called on the investigators to dig deeper to find out the reasons behind the crime, warning that the murder is a reminder of dark times in the past when journalists were targeted because of their work.

The IFJ joins the KUJ in calling on the Kenyan Government to launch an urgent and independent investigation of the killing to ensure that both the gunmen and the master minders of this crime are brought to justice.

IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “We mourn the death of our colleague and send our deepest condolences to her family, friends and colleagues. The Kenyan authorities must identify those involved in this heinous crime and hold them accountable for their acts. The culture of impunity for crimes against journalists must stop.”