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

Digital 1 min read
ARTICLE 19

ARTICLE 19 welcomes the ruling by Kenya’s High Court on 29 May 2018 suspending the full implementation of the Computer Misuse and Cyber Crimes Act, which was to come into effect on 30 May. Twenty six provisions out of the 70 contained in the Act have been suspended pending determination of the petition filed by Bloggers Association of Kenya. ARTICLE 19 is an interested party in the case, and has raised major concerns about the effect of the Act on the right to freedom of expression and information online.

Many of the Act’s provisions are extremely vague and ambiguous, enabling abuse to silence legitimate expression online. The act also includes provisions seeking to reintroduce criminal defamation, and address the issue of fake news.

“This suspension is a step in the right direction considering that the passage of the Computer and Cybercrimes Act in its current form is likely to have a detrimental effect on freedom of expression and right to privacy in Kenya.” said Henry Maina, Director of ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa.

ARTICLE 19 urges the government to revise the law to ensure it adhreres to international standards on freedom of expression, and calls for the synchronisation of provisions which may be conflicting with other laws including the Sexual Offences Act, Kenya Information Act (Consumer Regulations, 2010) and the Penal Code.

 

For more information, please contact Henry Maina, Director of ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa at [email protected] or call on +254 727 862230