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.

Kenya #FreetoProtest: 5 Key Safety Tips for Protesters
23.09.2019 7 min read

Kenya #FreetoProtest: 5 Key Safety Tips for Protesters

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21.06.2019 4 min read

Kenya: Blogger Alai to face terror-related charges

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14.06.2019 3 min read

Kenya: Court Declares Withdrawal of Medical Information and Curriculum for Safe Abortions Illegal.

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12.03.2019 2 min read

Kenya: Use of force on striking aviation workers violates right to protest

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Kenya: Inquest finds police culpable for death of baby in 2017 post-election protests
18.02.2019 3 min read

Kenya: Inquest finds police culpable for death of baby in 2017 post-election protests

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22.10.2018 8 min read

Kenya: Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2017

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27.09.2018 3 min read

Kenya: Court rules to temporarily remove ban on Rafiki film

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26.06.2018 11 min read

Eastern Africa: New tax and licensing rules for social media threaten freedom of expression

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05.06.2018 1 min read

Kenya: Suspension of Cybercrimes Act provisions a welcome step to protect free expression

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