Freedom of expression violated on and offline in Kenya

Freedom of expression violated on and offline in Kenya

Expression

On 5th June,  the National Bank of Kenya (NBK) sued blogger Cyprian Nyakundi for publishing statements, including corruption allegations, that the bank considered defamatory. NBK had previously sued Cyprian and obtained an interim injunction preventing him or any other contributor to his blog from publishing any articles on the bank or its employees. On 14th June, Jackson Njeru and Jackline Ogutu, the administrators of a Facebook page dealing with consumer issues, were detained on contempt of court charges and jailed for three months for failing to delete a post naming a prominent lawyer who had previously obtained an injunction against them prohibiting them from mentioning his name. On the same day, pro-government politician Moses Kuria warned Star journalists against covering events at which he was speaking after the newspaper published a piece on his alleged call for the assassination of main opposition leader Raila Odinga.

In a positive development, in August the Kenyan Parliament passed an access to information bill enabling citizens to obtain information held by both public and private entities. The Commission on Administrative Justice was mandated to oversee its implementation and hear and determine complaints arising from breaches of its provisions. The bill was signed into law by President Kenyatta in early September.