DCI apologizes for spreading false and misleading images
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) issued an apology to the public on Saturday after it was revealed that misleading and fake images were used in its anti-riot campaign on Friday.
The authenticity of some of the images used in the communication, which was meant to appeal for information regarding the whereabouts of ‘criminal suspects’ involved in Monday’s demonstrations, was questioned by NTV and Taifa Leo newspaper.
Investigations by NTV’s investigations desk found that some of the photos were taken more than 15 years ago, while some were manipulated using Google Reverse Image Search technology to give a false illustration of the real situation on the ground.
The DCI had claimed that the photos were from the recent Azimio anti-government protests, but investigations revealed that some were from other countries, such as Burundi.
One of the photos, which showed a man in a white cap throwing a teargas canister, was taken on January 17, 2008, in Kibera, Nairobi, during the deadly 2007 post-election violence at the slum. It is owned by Getty Images.
On Friday, the DCI tweeted that “the criminals who took advantage of the demonstrations were captured on camera destroying public property, attacking innocent members of the public, and hurling projectiles at police officers who were on duty protecting life and property.”
The directorate added that property of unknown value was destroyed while a total of 33 officers suffered injuries of various degrees and some are still recuperating at various hospitals in the city.
The DCI apologized on Saturday, saying “we wish to unreservedly apologize to the public for the mix-up of images in yesterday’s communication. While we work towards rectifying the same and maintaining public confidence in our operations, the Directorate continues to appeal to the public for information regarding the whereabouts of the suspects whose images appear below.”
Security experts have suggested that the use of those photos was a tactic by the Interior Ministry to scare Kenyans against showing up for riots by Azimio, which are scheduled for Mondays and Thursdays as per the announcement made by ODM leader Raila Odinga.