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CRITICAL JOURNALIST FOUND BEHEADED

A reporter who went missing last month following stories he wrote exposing police corruption was found decapitated in southwestern Kenya, report the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and other IFEX members.

Francis Nyaruri, a reporter who wrote under the pen name Mong'are Mokua for the private "Weekly Citizen" in Nyamira, Nyanza, was found decapitated and with his hands bound on 29 January in a forest outside of the town.

Prior to his disappearance two weeks before his death, Nyaruri had written a series of articles that exposed financial scams and other malpractice by the local police department, journalists from the area told CPJ. The journalists said Nyaruri had told them of threats by local police officers for articles he had written in the "Weekly Citizen".

According to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Nyaruri had also recently denounced police brutality and the plight of inmates in Kenya's prisons.

"The government must leave no stone unturned in the hunt for those who are responsible for this horrific crime," said Omar Faruk, president of the recently launched Federation of African Journalists (FAJ). "We are convinced that this murder is linked to our colleague's courageous reporting."

Nyaruri was last seen on 15 January, before leaving home to buy construction materials.

He is the second journalist killed in Kenya in the past year, says CPJ. In May 2008, New Zealand photographer Trent Keegan was killed by unknown assailants in Nairobi.

Visit these links:
- CPJ: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/100503
- IFJ/FAJ: http://tinyurl.com/ct2q6p
- Reporters Without Borders: http://tinyurl.com/d7x538
(4 February 2009)

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