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Kenya media faces growing limits

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Subject

Media freedom trends.

Significance

Kenya's media is generally a lively arena in which a diverse range of viewpoints can be heard. However, opposition and civil rights groups have become increasingly concerned at perceived efforts by the government to muzzle the press. On February 23, the High Court ruled that parts of the Security Laws (Amendment) Act 2014 are unconstitutional, including clauses that specifically targeted the media. While the court's decision was a victory for the new constitution and the protections that it affords for civil liberties, the case itself signals wider trends in freedom of speech.

Impacts

  • The High Court ruling indicates the role of the judiciary in defending the constitution, despite criticisms over partiality.
  • However, accusations that government counter-terrorism tactics operate outside of the law will persist.
  • The counter-terrorism approach will continue to exacerbate rather than solve security problems.
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