FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS’ ASSOCIATION STATEMENT ON PRESS FREEDOM INCIDENTS IN KENYA

The Foreign Correspondents’ Association of East Africa is gravely concerned by the ongoing censorship of Kenyan television and radio channels over their coverage of an opposition political event on Tuesday.

We consider the action by the Communications Authority of Kenya to block Citizen TV, Inooro TV, NTV and KTN News, as well as a number of radio channels for the last 48 hours, as serious breach of freedom of speech in Kenya.

It also goes against Kenya’s constitution which says: “the state shall not exercise control over or interfere with any person engaged in broadcasting, the production or circulation of any publication or the dissemination of information by any medium.”

We are concerned by the statement made by the cabinet secretary for the interior ministry who said “media houses will remain switched off until we have completed some of the investigations that we are carrying out.”

We strongly object to what appears to have been an attempt to arrest a number of Kenya’s most senior journalists and media executives at the Nation Media Group offices last night, 31st January 2018, and urge the authorities not to intimidate or to arrest members of the media and publishing houses for doing their jobs.

We stand by our media colleagues in Kenya with the conviction that journalism is not a crime and it should not be treated as such.

board@fcaea.org

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