The Inspector-General of Police Martin Okoth Ochola has said that his recent comments about beating journalists were all just jokes that were turned and blown out of proportion.
Afande Ochola said that while appearing before the Defence Committee of Parliament on Monday where he insisted that he is a human rights activist who could not have supported the beating of journalists.
“My respect for human rights is well known. What I said was just a joke. You know how I sometimes joke. Unfortunately, the joke was turned around and blown out of proportion,” Ochola told Parliament.
The Police Chief was responding to a question by MP Gilbert Oulanya who was demanding that explains why he supports the beating of journalists, which is against their rights.
“You have been reported to have said that Police should beat up journalists for their own good. Can the IGP give clarification on this matter?” MP Oulanyah asked.
In January while addressing a joint media briefing on the state of security in the country ahead of the General Elections, Ochola was quoted to have justified the beating and manhandling of journalists, saying it was for their own good.
According to Ochola, Police personnel have been vital in saving journalists from worse danger by beating them.
“When we tell a journalist, don’t go there and you insist on going where there is danger, we shall beat you for your own sake,” Ochola reportedly said.
Ochola vowed not to apologise for the beating of the journalists by security forces on the campaign trails.
“I have no apology. We shall not apologise but we shall continue helping you not to go where there is danger,” he said.