Around the world – in autocracies and democracies alike – vibrant civil society movements working to advance progressive values and agendas face concerted attacks by governments on the keystones of democracy and the rule of law: freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of assembly. Governments are mounting attacks with extraordinary momentum, and with little joined-up scrutiny. Kenya is one of numerous countries where this trend has developed.
Kenya’s experience with terrorism, and efforts to counter it, has been a significant factor in shaping its security laws, systems, infrastructure, attitudes, and practices.
With this in mind, in October 2023, ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa, with the support of The Fund for Global Human Rights, convened a panel of researchers consisting of HAKI Africa, The Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANET), and The Centre for Human Rights and Policy Studies (CHRIPS) to carefully interrogate the impact of counter-terrorism (CT) and the prevention of violent extremism (PVE) and similar national security measures on civic space in Kenya. The goal was to inform interventions that enhance greater accountability for violations and promote an open civic space free from unjustified restrictions under the guise of security.