Kenya

Kenya’s democratic system is fundamentally threatened by corruption, cronyism, police brutality and ethnic rivalries that are exploited by political leaders. Counter terrorism efforts often feature pervasive and discriminatory tactics targeting Muslim and ethnic Somali communities, and election tensions or irregularities have led to widespread protests and police crackdowns.

There has been a rise in the use of lethal force by Kenyan police, particularly in response to those exercising their right to protest. In 2016, police officers allegedly killed a total of 122 civilians, a 7% increase from 2015. Police have frequently beaten and used live ammunition against protestors, particularly around elections.

Journalists, bloggers, and activists are also frequently arrested or prosecuted on a variety of charges, and officials have allegedly pressured media outlets to curb unfavorable coverage. Despite pressures, many media houses continued to produce critical reporting on the government, and a number of activists use the country’s judicial system to fight back against threats.

ARTICLE 19 has successfully sought to protect free expression through the courts, leading to the High Court in Kenya declaring parts of laws on criminal defamation and ‘undermining public authority’ unconstitutional. We have worked with bloggers and online communicators to train them in online safety and challenged laws unduly limiting online expression. We train civil society and public officials on how to use and implement the Freedom of Information Act, and we assist civil society groups in engaging with the international and regional bodies.

Rising to the challenges: ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa’s Annual Report 2021
14.11.2022 1 min read

Rising to the challenges: ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa’s Annual Report 2021

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Boundaries of Expression podcast #FreeToProtest: Climate action
04.11.2022 3 min read

Boundaries of Expression podcast #FreeToProtest: Climate action

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Eastern Africa: Governments must do more to protect journalists
02.11.2022 6 min read

Eastern Africa: Governments must do more to protect journalists

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Eastern Africa: Take urgent action to support free speech and vital rights
31.10.2022 2 min read

Eastern Africa: Take urgent action to support free speech and vital rights

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Kenya: A coalition to address content moderation and promote free speech
27.10.2022 11 min read

Kenya: A coalition to address content moderation and promote free speech

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Eastern Africa: Digital Technologies Must Respect Human Rights
28.09.2022 7 min read

Eastern Africa: Digital Technologies Must Respect Human Rights

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Right to Know Day: Empowering people and holding the powerful to account
28.09.2022 11 min read

Right to Know Day: Empowering people and holding the powerful to account

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Kenya: Tackling misinformation is critical for electoral integrity
01.09.2022 5 min read

Kenya: Tackling misinformation is critical for electoral integrity

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Kenya: Anticipation and hope for change ahead of general election
08.08.2022 6 min read

Kenya: Anticipation and hope for change ahead of general election

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