An international press freedom watchdog is pushing for the arrest of a Kenyan journalist’s killers.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) condemned the killing of Mr John Kituyi, the editor and publisher of the Mirror Weekly in Eldoret.
It raised questions over the link between Mr Kituyi’s death and his reports on the International Criminal Court (ICC) case against Deputy President William Ruto.
Mr Kituyi was walking home from work at 7.30pm on Thursday when assailants on a motorcycle approached him. Sources said they hit Mr Kituyi repeatedly with a blunt object and seized his mobile phone. However, they did not take away his money or watch.
The journalist suffered a severe back injury and bruises all over his body. He was taken to Eldoret Hospital but later died.
His articles focused on politics in western Kenya. He also covered national issues.
Three Kenyan journalists and a family member told CPJ that Mr Kituyi may have been targeted over a story that ran in the Mirror Weekly last week titled “Now ICC plot to jail Ruto”.
The story made reference to alleged official interference with prosecution witnesses.
Mr Ruto has been charged with crimes against humanity. He is accused of organising the deadly violence that erupted after the December 2007 General Election. More than 1,000 people were killed and hundreds of thousands displaced during the chaos.
Since the ICC case began, in Kenya, some witnesses have been killed and journalists forced to go into hiding, according to news reports and CPJ research.
“We condemn the murder of editor and publisher John Kituyi,” said CPJ East Africa Representative Tom Rhodes. “Authorities in Eldoret must work thoroughly to arrest the killers and demonstrate that such violence will not be tolerated.”