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Mandera North Blogger Detained Over Critical WhatsApp Post On MP

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‪Quraish Habasho, a Mandera North constituency blogger was on Thursday picked up by police officers he claims were from the DCI’s ATPU unit from his home in Nairobi and briefly detained at Muthaiga Police Station.‬

‪He claims that his arrest was orchestrated by the office of the area MP Bashir Abdullahi and his close associates with an aim of silencing him, “I learnt that my arrest was politically castigated and the officers were under serious instruction, and their main aim was to forcefully take me to Mandera using unknown and unidentified means of transport and that has really shocked me.” He wrote on X.‬

‪He further claims that the arrest emanated from a comment he had made and the screenshots shared on WhatsApp messaging platform rubbed off some senior officials, “The screenshot that the officers had was not an incitement and partly read that “the mp of Mandera North should stop selling our land.” This was a statement from the public during the illegal signing of the purported MOU by the Degodia and the Murule Mps that caused different reactions, unanimously rejected by the communities and the county leadership led by the governor, Senator ,woman Rep and the Members of the County Assembly at large.” He said..

He’s attributing his opposition to the MP Hon Bashir Abdullahi who is also the Vice Chairperson, Defence Intelligence and Foreign Relations Committee for being behind his arrest, “My arrest was basically all about refusing to sing to the tune of the area MP, who sees freedom of speech as an enemy driven towards him.” Quraish said.

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He was later released on police bail and instructed to report to the Mandera DCI next week Tuesday for further questioning. The defiant blogger says the arrest won’t deter his activism, “I will not be stopped on intimidation, timid, fearful, political witch hunts, and threat in exercising my constitutional rights, which are enshrined in the constitution.”

Bloggers killed

This comes at a time when bloggers have become endangered and targeted by violence. Meru political blogger Peris Mugera was found murdered after she was reported missing on February 29. Her body was discovered in Kirinyaga County, showing signs of injury on her forehead according to a police report.

Her murder followed the killing of prominent Meru blogger Daniel Muthiani, known as Snipper, whose body was found dumped in Mutonga River in Tharaka Nithi County on December 16, 2023.

A postmortem examination, conducted by government pathologist Johansen Oduor at the Marimanti Level 4 Hospital Mortuary in Tharaka Nithi, Meru County, revealed that the blogger died from strangulation.

Government spokesperson Isaac Mwaura has strongly condemned the killing of Meru political blogger Peris Mugera.

Speaking during the distribution of relief food to needy Muslim faithful to mark the holy month of Ramadan at Nyayo House, Nairobi on Saturday last week, Mwaura emphasized that diverse opinions expressed through new media platforms cannot be silenced by acts of violence.

He expressed regret that such killings, driven by intolerance to dissenting views, are occurring at a time when Kenya has made significant progress in upholding freedom of the media and free speech.

Mwaura highlighted the risk of reversing the hard-won gains enshrined in the Kenyan constitution due to such incidents.

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“The government wishes to condemn in the strongest terms the persistent killing of bloggers, the latest one being in Tharaka Nithi county. Bloggers have the right to express themselves on various topics because the media landscape has been democratized, and bloggers play a crucial role in disseminating valuable information,” said Mwaura


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