Al-Jazeera disputes Kenya gov't allegations

AP News
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Posted: Dec 10, 2014 1:42 PM

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The news network Al-Jazeera said Wednesday that it is deeply concerned by the Kenyan government's threats to bring charges against its journalists because of a documentary accusing Kenyan police of killing suspects.

Al-Jazeera urged the Kenyan government not to attack journalists or curtail freedom of speech and to instead confront the serious allegations of extrajudicial killings, often against people suspected of ties to Islamic terrorists.

The documentary, which aired Monday, quotes what Al-Jazeera said were unidentified members of Kenya's security services who said the highest officials on the National Security Council, including the president, plan and order targeted killings, which are carried out by special police units.

Kenya's Ministry of Interior on Tuesday said on Twitter that the "tone and subjective nature" of the documentary was "deliberately skewed to support (and) empathize with terrorists (and) their sympathizers."

The ministry said relevant authorities would begin investigations with a view to bringing charges against those who made the documentary.

Kenya's government said the people Al-Jazeera interviewed, who were purported to be members of the security services, were fake and the documents it cited were not real.

The news channel disputed those allegations and quoted the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Philip Alston, who said in 2010 that he has received "overwhelming testimony that there exists in Kenya a systematic, widespread and well-planned strategy to execute individuals."

In Egypt where the Cairo government arrested three Al-Jazeera journalists in December 2013 who were convicted of damaging national security and sentenced to seven years in prison.