Statement

Kenya: President must reject the Information and Communications Bill

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ARTICLE 19

01 Nov 2013

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In response to yesterday’s adoption by the Kenyan National Assembly of the Information Communications (Amendment) Bill, 2013, ARTICLE 19’s Director of Eastern Africa, Henry Maina said:

“The amendments that were tabled by the Committee on Energy, Information and Communication violate Kenya’s constitutional guarantees for media freedom and fly in the face of hard won liberty in the country.”

“ARTICLE 19 finds that many provisions of the Bill violate international standards on freedom of expression; in particular, a newly created Communications and Multimedia Appeals Tribunal –which will take over the work of the former Complaints Commission of the Media Council  - will have the power to impose hefty fines of up to US$12,000 for journalists and US$235,000 for media houses. It will also have power to recommend the suspension or removal from the register of the journalist involved.”

“ARTICLE 19 urges the Kenyan President to refuse to sign the Bill into the law and return it to the National Assembly. Any future media regulation in Kenya must fully comply with international law and constitutional guarantees of media freedom.”

ARTICLE 19 will conduct a full analysis of the Bill that will be available at later stage.

ARTICLE 19's comments on earlier drafts of the Bill are available here.

 

FOR MEDIA INTERVIEWS: Please contact: Henry Maina, henry@article19.org; or call +254727862230  

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please contact Stephanie Muchai, muchai@article19.org or call +254727862230