Kenyan police arrested freelance journalist and blogger Yassin Juma on January 23, after he used social media to post photos of the aftermath of a deadly, January 15, Al-Shabaab attack on an African Union military base in Somalia, according to press reports.
Police searched Juma’s home and his computer and confiscated his flash drives before taking him to Nairobi’s Muthaiga police station, according to press reports. Police did not immediately charge him with a crime, but a public police log listed him as having been arrested for “misuse of communication gadgets,” according to reports.
Police drove Juma to court on January 25, where they told him they were not ready to charge him and released him with instructions to report to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations in two weeks’ time, Nairobi’s privately owned Daily Nation reported.
Juma’s detention came days after Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery warned against the distribution of photos of the Shabaab attack, saying “characters who amplify terror by sharing pictures” would be punished.
Juma is at least the second man arrested for distributing photographs of the attack’s aftermath. On January 19, a court in Kiambu, north of Nairobi, charged another man, Eddie Reuben Illah, with using the messaging service WhatsApp to distribute photographs ostensibly of the same attack. Illah was released on bail and is scheduled to appear before the court on February 12.