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ICC Note

With its upcoming general election, Kenya has begun to crackdown on the media. The media often criticizes the government for corruption and police brutality. The government believes that a media crackdown will prevent post-election violence like that seen after 2007. A media crackdown, however, is not democratic. Being informed about attacks or governmental abuses will allow Christians in Kenya to be able to protect themselves and will allow Kenyans in general to select the best candidates for office in the upcoming election.  

2017-05-30 Kenya (Human Rights Watch) – In recent years, the Kenyan government has been largely hostile to human rights issues. Civil society groups and the media have had little room to criticize the government without fear. Government officials have not been keen on protecting the rights of journalists and bloggers who write on issues of national importance. When President Uhuru Kenyatta took office in 2013, his administration moved quickly to pass very restrictive laws that negatively impacted media freedom. The Kenya Information and Communication (Amendment) Act and the Media Council of Kenya Act, both of 2013, for example, expanded the government’s control over media regulatory bodies such as the Communications Authority of Kenya, the Complaints Commission, and the Multimedia Appeals Tribunal.

Officials have targeted journalists and bloggers over articles critical of government on issues like corruption, irregularities in land acquisition, accountability for political violence, or security force abuses. Those writing on these issues are either threatened and harassed – in some cases beaten – or subjected to online and phone surveillance. Journalists and bloggers are concerned that, as the elections draw closer, scrutiny of the media by the authorities and by those running for office will become more intense, with increased chances of abuse.  

 

 

 

 

 

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