Human Rights groups call on Kenyan government to allow British journalist to return

Jerome Starkey cell
Jerome Starkey tweeted a photograph of an untidy room with metal bunk beds inside the airport terminal. Photo: Twitter/JeromeStarkey

Amnesty International are among the human rights groups calling on the Kenyan government to rescind Jerome Starkey’s deportation order and allow journalists to do their jobs without harassment during August’s elections.

The Times’ Africa correspondent was arrested in December on his return to Kenya from London before being deported without explanation after spending a night in custody.

Related: British journalist believes “someone powerful” doesn’t want him in Kenya

Yesterday a joint letter was sent to Kenya’s home affairs minister calling for the journalist to be allowed to return and for the government to reaffirm its commitment to a free media before August’s elections.

“Journalists must be allowed to investigate and report on important issues without fearing for their safety,” he said. “In the run-up to elections and beyond, Kenyan authorities must publicly declare their commitment to freedom of the press and show that they mean it.”

– Justus Nyang’aya, director of Amnesty International Kenya

The letter was signed by groups including Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders and writers’ association PEN International.