(Nairobi) – Kenyan authorities stopped news outlets from covering a planned public event by a political opposition leader on January 30, 2018, Human Rights Watch said today. The Communications Authority of Kenya switched off three television stations and their affiliated radio stations. The television and radio stations were still off air at time of writing.
The authorities appear to have been angered by the decision of the media companies to defy President Uhuru Kenyatta’s order to editors at a meeting on January 26 not to cover the planned swearing in of the opposition leader, Raila Odinga, who rejected Kenyatta’s victory on October 26, 2017 in the presidential election. The Kenyan authorities have not given any explanation or legal justification for their attempt to ban media coverage of Odinga.
“Kenyan authorities have restricted media coverage at a critical moment, and violated the public’s right to information about important events,” said Otsieno Namwaya, Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. “They should immediately allow the media organizations to resume their work in accordance with the law.”