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Elgon county TJRC: Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission, created after the 2007-2008 post-election violence Human Rights Watch and ARTICLE 19 interviewed over 92 individuals, including 60 journalists, 10 bloggers, three lawyers specializing in free expression matters, two members of civil society organizations, three members of political parties, two senior journalists, police, and government officials in the Office of the President, Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology (ICT), and the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA).
Interviews were conducted with journalists and bloggers in the capital, Nairobi, where most of Kenya’s media organizations and journalists are concentrated, but also in other towns.
© 2013 Thomas Mukoya/Reuters On November 3, 2015, Joseph Nkaissery, Kenya’s cabinet secretary for interior and national coordination, appeared before the Parliamentary Accounts Committee to answer questions about millions of dollars his ministry allegedly paid irregularly to suppliers, the bulk on the last day of the budget year.
While national security can be a basis for limiting free expression under internationally-accepted principles, governments must use the least restrictive means possible in prohibiting such speech and the national security interests should be legitimate.
Obstructing access to information regarding mismanagement of state funds, for example, is not a legitimate basis to restrict free expression.
The government harassment and intimidation of independent reporting, and lack of police investigations into such abuses, threaten to undermine Kenya’s 2017 elections.
For free, fair, and credible elections to take place, the government should protect freedom of expression and work to ensure that no government or security official seeks to silence journalists or arbitrarily obstruct their access to information.
ACHPR: African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights AP: Administration Police, one of two branches of National Police Service CA: Communications Authority, state agency in charge of frequency allocation and regulation of the broadcasting sector CA: Communications Authority of Kenya CIPEV: Commission of Inquiry into the Post-Election Violence of 2007-2008 in Kenya CORD: Coalition on Reforms and Democracy, a coalition of opposition parties in Kenya which was formed in advance of the 2013 elections.