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Kenya: High Court Overturns Restrictions on Social Media, Telecommunications
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.”
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.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.