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: Excessive defamation damages violate the right to media freedom
06.08.2021 7 min read

Kenya: Excessive defamation damages violate the right to media freedom

Click here to go to article
Kenya: Amend the Draft Data Protection Regulations
29.07.2021 4 min read

Kenya: Amend the Draft Data Protection Regulations

Click here to go to article
Kenya: Government must uphold the right to protest 
16.07.2021 5 min read

Kenya: Government must uphold the right to protest 

Click here to go to article
Kenya: Withdraw proposed amendments to cybercrimes law
07.07.2021 18 min read

Kenya: Withdraw proposed amendments to cybercrimes law

Click here to go to article
Kenya: Police must stop arresting protesters
06.07.2021 4 min read

Kenya: Police must stop arresting protesters

Click here to go to article
Unseen eyes, unheard stories: Experiences of surveillance in Kenya and Uganda
04.06.2021 1 min read

Unseen eyes, unheard stories: Experiences of surveillance in Kenya and Uganda

Click here to go to article
KENYA: Harmonise legal framework on free expression with ICCPR recommendations
28.05.2021 13 min read

KENYA: Harmonise legal framework on free expression with ICCPR recommendations

Click here to go to article
Kenya: World Press Freedom Day 2021 – attacks against journalists continue
03.05.2021 10 min read

Kenya: World Press Freedom Day 2021 – attacks against journalists continue

Click here to go to article
Blog: Access to information on Covid-19 vaccines in Kenya necessary to ‘bring us closer together’
27.04.2021 11 min read

Blog: Access to information on Covid-19 vaccines in Kenya necessary to ‘bring us closer together’

Click here to go to article
Font Resize
Contrast