Kenya: High Court Overturns Restrictions on Social Media, Telecommunications | Freedom House

Kenya: High Court Overturns Restrictions on Social Media, Telecommunications

Washington

In response to the Kenyan High Court finding unconstitutional a section of the Kenya Information and Communication Act (KICA) used by authorities to charge social media users and bloggers with “misuse” of telecommunications, Freedom House released the following statement:

“Freedom House applauds the High Court for safeguarding the right to freedom of expression enshrined in Kenya’s Constitution” said Vukasin Petrovic, director for Africa programs. “The court’s ruling is a significant victory for all Kenyans and demonstrates the pivotal role of the Kenyan judiciary in protecting constitutionally guaranteed liberties.” 

Background 
The Kenya Information and Communication Act (KICA) was enacted in 2013. Section 29 of KICA said anyone using telecommunications to send a message “that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character,” or known to be false was liable to being fined and imprisoned for up to three months. The petition challenging the section’s constitutionality was filed by a social media user after he was charged under the provision. 

Kenya is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2016, Free in Freedom on the Net 2015, and Partly Free in Freedom of the Press 2015.

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