John Kituyi, 63, was beaten to death on April 30, 2015 in the town of Eldoret, in western Kenya. Kituyi was on his way home from his office when two unidentified assailants on motorcycles attacked him with a blunt object. He suffered severe injuries to his head and was pronounced dead on his arrival at the Eldoret Hospital. While the journalist’s phone was taken, other valuables including cash and a watch reportedly were not. Kituyi was a veteran journalist and founder of The Mirror Weekly, mainly covering local news. The newsmagazine had recently reported on the International Criminal Court (ICC) trial in The Hague against William Ruto, Kenya’s deputy president.
Ruto is accused of crimes against humanity, including mass murders, deportations and persecutions that came amid the crisis in 2007 to 2008 that followed Kenya’s disputed Dec. 27, 2007 presidential election. According to a statement by Kituyi’s brother, those close to the journalist suspect the killing to be linked to his journalistic work. Several cases of threats and disappearance of witnesses linked to the ICC trial have been reported since an investigation was formally opened in 2010. Numerous journalists have reported being threatened and some said they were attacked in Eldoret, a town that saw a great deal of violence in the post-presidential election crisis.