Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta is seen in Nairobi on April 29, 2022. CPJ recently joined a letter calling on Kenyatta and other officials to maintain internet access throughout the upcoming elections. (AP/Khalil Senosi)

CPJ joins letter calling on Kenya to ensure internet access is maintained throughout election

In a joint letter addressed to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday, June 21, the Committee to Protect Journalists joined 51 other organizations calling on authorities to ensure free and secure internet access during the country’s upcoming general elections, scheduled for August 9.

The organizations, all members of the #KeepItOn Coalition against internet shutdowns, note that the internet and social media platforms “play a critical role in enhancing participatory governance” and guaranteeing rights enshrined in Kenya’s constitution.

The letter acknowledges that, while officials have made public commitments not to interfere with internet connectivity during the elections, “attempts to exert control over information flow” had been seen during previous elections.

During and after Kenya’s last general elections in 2017, CPJ documented press freedom violations that included assault and harassment of journalists, and a shutdown of major broadcasters.

The letter, also copied to other senior government officials and telecom operators, is available here.