Kenya president directs AG to review controversial media bill

[JURIST] Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki [official profile] on Wednesday directed the attorney general and information minister to review a controversial media bill [press release] that gives power to a communication commission to regulate broadcasting with threats of fines or incarceration. The Communications Amendment Bill of 2008 [text, PDF], which was signed into law [JURIST report] by Kibaki on Friday, allows the minister of information to control aspects of broadcast content. Kibaki was acting in response to a letter from the chairman of the Media Owners Association (MOA) of Kenya objecting to the new legislation. Attorney General Amos Wako [official website] on Thursday asked the MOA of Kenya to hand in suggestions and comments [The Standard report] by Tuesday.

The MOA has been outspoken [KBC report] on the passage of this bill. The MOA believes that the legislation will curtail freedoms that are important in maintaining the development of the nation. Press freedom has been a long-standing issue in Kenya. Last year, Kibaki stressed the importance of a free press when he refused to sign [JURIST report] a bill that would have required journalists to disclose confidential sources.



 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.