RWB alarmed by new security law threat to freedom of information
Reporters Without Borders is worried about a controversial security bill that President Uhuru Kenyatta signed into law on 19 December.
Its adoption ended a week of stormy debates overshadowed by an increase in terrorist attacks in Kenya by Al-Shabaab, an Islamist militia based in neighbouring Somalia. Some of the law’s provisions dangerously limit freedom of information and could have a grave impact on journalists’ ability to work in Kenya.
"We condemn the draconian provisions in this law that are liable to result in drastic censorship of the Kenyan media, Reporters Without Borders deputy programme director Virginie Dangles said. It is vital that journalists should be able to work freely and that the Kenyan people have the right to complete news coverage."
The law says freedom of expression and freedom of the media "shall be limited (… ) for the purposes of limiting the publication or distribution of material likely to cause public alarm, incitement to violence or disturb public peace." It provides for heavy penalties for anyone disseminating "any information (… ) relating to terrorism," without qualifying this in any way. It says covering terrorism or publishing images of victims, "which […]