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: 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

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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’

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Kenya and Uganda: COVID-19 pandemic surveillance and threats to human rights
21.04.2021 5 min read

Kenya and Uganda: COVID-19 pandemic surveillance and threats to human rights

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Kenya: Human rights groups voice outrage over ruling against activist
09.04.2021 4 min read

Kenya: Human rights groups voice outrage over ruling against activist

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Kenya: Release and cease attacks on Edwin Mutemi wa Kiama
08.04.2021 6 min read

Kenya: Release and cease attacks on Edwin Mutemi wa Kiama

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Blog: Kenya’s further education institutions use repressive tactics to suppress dissent among the student community
01.04.2021 7 min read

Blog: Kenya’s further education institutions use repressive tactics to suppress dissent among the student community

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Blog: The resurgence of art and artivism as an alternative to physical street marches
26.03.2021 6 min read

Blog: The resurgence of art and artivism as an alternative to physical street marches

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Blog: The impact of Covid-19 on the right to protest in Kenya
15.03.2021 3 min read

Blog: The impact of Covid-19 on the right to protest in Kenya

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Kenya: Don’t use the censorship law to prosecute comedian Eric Omondi
12.03.2021 3 min read

Kenya: Don’t use the censorship law to prosecute comedian Eric Omondi

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