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No sign of missing Kenyan journalist one year on: police, family

September 25, 2014

Kenyan police and relatives said Thursday they have found no sign of prominent journalist and controversial blogger Bosire Bogonko, one year since he mysteriously disappeared.

Bogonko, whose often scurrilous Jackal News website reported on scandal, corruption and poked fun at celebrities and powerful politicians, had been threatened several times and his website hacked.

He was also accused of being the first to expose the name of a prosecution witness at the International Criminal Court (ICC), who had given evidence in the crimes against humanity cases of Kenya’s leadership related to Kenya’s post-election violence of 2007-2008.

He disappeared on September 18, 2013, and his brother said the family had given up hope of finding him alive.

“The police would often call me to go check in the morgues every time they had a corpse that they thought would be him, but it always turned out to be a mistaken identity,” Elkanah Bosire told AFP.

“It was an awful experience, going to the mortuaries and seeing all those dead bodies. I decided to stop and we have given up hope of finding him.”

Police spokesman Masood Mwinyi also said their investigations had found no trace of the blogger, who had also previously worked for AFP.

“Bogonko Bosire was an intelligent, talented — if not sometimes controversial journalist. His disappearance is a tragic loss to the media fraternity here in Kenya,” said Tom Rhodes, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

“CPJ attempted to follow several leads to his case but unfortunately was unable to uncover what could have actually happened.”

Reporters Without Borders have said they were also “concerned about the disappearance”.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.