Police in Mombasa are holding two Nation Media Group journalists for filming the construction of a hotel that has encroached into the Indian Ocean.
The Thursday arrests were supervised by a senior police officer from Bamburi police station.
NTV senior Coast cameraman Karim Rajan and Daily Nation photographer Laban Walloga were arrested while on official duty in Shanzu, Mombasa.
The hotel is associated with a top government official.
The two were with a Daily Nation reporter Winnie Atieno who managed to escape an attack by the workers.
According to a video footage taken by Ms Atieno, the workers are seen mishandling Mr Rajan and Mr Walloga before confiscating their gadgets.
The workers later fight Mr Rajan who was trying to stop them from grabbing his gadgets.
Mombasa police commander Johnston Ipara said: "I do not want to be involved in that issue."
Sources said the order for the arrest of the came from "above".
The Nation Media Group has demanded the immediate release of the journalists.
NMG Editor-in-Chief Tom Mshindi termed the arrest unacceptable "in this time and era".
"It is wrong for police to arrest journalists going about their duty following purported orders from some powerful individuals," Mr Mshindi said.
He said the NMG will make a formal complaint to the police.
Haki Africa executive director Hussein Khalid also condemned the arrest.
"Haki Africa strongly condemns and is shocked by the alleged assault and detainment. Haki Africa wishes to categorically state that there is no private beach in Kenya," Mr Khalid said.
Mr Khalid demanded for immediate and unconditional release of Mr Rajan and Mr Walloga and subsequent arrest of those behind the incident.
Further, the Media Council of Kenya also termed the incident a threat media freedom.
Deputy chief executive and programmes manager Victor Bwire SAID: "We have just received a report that the journalists have been arrested but we are following up the matter.
"We condemn the act because it is unacceptable to assault and arbitrary arrest someone without informing them their mistakes," he said.
"If they felt the journalists broke the law, they should file a formal complain to the Media Council of Kenya so that the matter can be investigated and action taken."
He said journalists, like all Kenyans, have a right to protection and that in cases where aggrieved parties feel offended, they should follow formal procedures, including filing a case in court.