Security concerns used to gag media
Kenya has seen a slow erosion of media freedom in recent years. The political situation and security concerns have been used since 2016 as grounds for restricting the freedom to inform. During election campaigns, the media are routinely subjected to physical attacks by the security forces and the public, as well as to threats and intimidation by politicians. Their equipment is often confiscated and their writing is censored. Journalists can pay dearly for covering opposition events or for portraying President Uhuru Kenyatta’s party and its flaws in a negative light. Four commercial TV channels were shut down at the start of 2018 for defying the president’s ban on live coverage of opposition leader Raila Odinga’s mock inauguration as president. The 2010 constitution guarantees freedom of information, but laws criminalize and gag the media. The Security Laws Amendment Act of 2014 was designed to restrict this freedom. A law on Internet security and protection proposed in September 2016 allows the authorities to step up control over the surveillance of communications and the flow of information online. The privately-owned media’s financial problems and self-censorship in the state media also have a negative impact on press freedom.
95 in 2017
31.20 in 2017