Police fired tear gas canisters at DW’s East Africa correspondent Mariel Müller while she was covering a protest in Nairobi. Amnesty International and the Foreign Press Association of Africa have condemned the attack.
A Deutsche Welle correspondent was attacked by police while covering a demonstration in Nairobi on Saturday.
Kenyan authorities fired tear gas canisters directly at DW’s East Africa correspondent Mariel Müller with one canister grazing her and a second injuring her leg while she was conducting an interview.
‘You just shot me’
Müller was covering a peaceful protest against police brutality and coronavirus lockdown measures at the time of the attack.
“The police observed the first part [of the protest] and then eventually started firing tear gas,” Müller told DW.
After Müller was grazed by a canister, she and her camera crew moved away from their initial position.
After a while, “it appeared as if the situation had calmed down,” said Müller and she began interviewing an older woman taking part in the demonstration.
“We noticed that something was happening. But then we realized it was too late — a shot was fired. I noticed that my leg started hurting and that I’d been hit there,” she said.
The canister was shot from a tear gas launcher.
“It’s not like they just throw [the canister] and then it’s on the ground and rolls somewhere, but it’s really a gun,” she said. “They load the gun with these silver canisters.”
Müller added that authorities appeared to be purposefully aiming at her and the camera crew.
She approached authorities afterward, telling the officer who had been firing the canisters: “You just shot me, you just hit me in my leg.”
The officer walked away, “but he knew exactly what had happened,” Muller said.
DW condemns targeted attack
DW Director General Peter Limbourg strongly condemned the attack and called for an investigation.
“We condemn this act of police violence. Any attack against the media must be investigated and lead to consequences.”
Amnesty International’s Kenya branch also called for authorities to launch an investigation and slammed “the brutal attack on journalists and protesters” in Nairobi.
The Foreign Press Association of Africa criticized the actions of the police officer who “deliberately” fired on Müller.
DW’s Andreas Noll contributed reporting to this article.