Kenya and its press freedom commitment

In Kenya, a combination of legal and physical harassment makes it increasingly difficult for journalists to work freely. A CPJ special report finds that these restrictions on the Kenyan media come at a time when public discourse and transparency are essential, in light of hefty government spending on development, high-profile terrorist attacks, and the ongoing indictment of the deputy president by the International Criminal Court.

Gallery: Cartoonist Gado on the press
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Attacks on the Press   |   Kenya, Security

LGBT Reporting in Africa

On a recent trip to Kenya, I sat with S., a gay refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, in the cramped, one-room apartment he shares with three friends, all straight. The four share a bed, and none know S. is gay. The floor is covered in a vibrant yellow vinyl, their belongings clutter every corner, and a tiny couch is crammed into the space between the bed and the door.

Case   |   Kenya

Kenyan journalist held overnight at police station

David Odongo, a journalist with the privately owned weekly Nairobian newspaper was summoned to Nairobi's Embakasi police station for questioning the evening of April 15, 2016, according to the Kenya Union of Journalists and news reports. Not long after he arrived, the union and news reports said, police arrested him and held him overnight.

April 18, 2016 1:48 PM ET


Blog   |   Kenya

Gado blames government pressure as cartoonist's contract at Kenya's Nation ends

A man reads a copy of Kenyan daily, the Nation. Gado, whose political cartoons were regularly featured in it, says his contract with the paper was terminated. (AP/Ben Curtis)

For 23 years Godfrey Mwampembwa has been a prominent and quick-witted observer of the political scene in East Africa. But all that changed last month when the cartoonist, known as Gado, was told his contract at Kenya's biggest newspapers, the Nation, would not be renewed.

Case   |   Kenya

Kenya detains blogger for two days

Kenyan police arrested freelance journalist and blogger Yassin Juma on January 23, after he used social media to post photos of the aftermath of a deadly, January 15, Al-Shabaab attack on an African Union military base in Somalia, according to press reports.

Case   |   Kenya

Kenyan journalist arrested

Kenyan police arrested journalist Elijah Kinyanjui Maina in the town of Nakuru, roughly 160 kilometres (99 miles) northwest of Nairobi, on January 12, 2016, and released him that evening, according to news reports. Maina is managing editor of the website Nakuru County News, which focuses on local news.

January 12, 2016 3:06 PM ET


Alerts   |   Kenya

CPJ condemns detention of Kenyan journalist over protection of sources

Nairobi, November 10, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the arrest of John Ngirachu, the parliamentary editor of independent daily The Nation. Authorities arrested Ngirachu Tuesday evening and demanded that he reveal his sources for a report on alleged procurement irregularities by the interior ministry, journalists at The Nation and other Kenyan outlets told CPJ. The Nation said Ngirachu's report was based on proceedings at the national assembly.

November 10, 2015 10:55 AM ET


Statements   |   Kenya

Kenyan parliament passes repressive media bill

New York, October 15, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the passage late Wednesday by Kenya's national assembly of a bill that would impose a harsh fine or two years in jail, or both, for a journalist who is found guilty of defaming the Kenyan parliament or its members. The bill must be approved by the senate and the president before it can become law, according to news reports.

Blog   |   CPJ, Kenya

Mission Journal: Will Obama's visit boost hopes for press freedom in Kenya?

Billboards at Nairobi's airport welcome Barack Obama to Kenya. (CPJ/Sue Valentine)

President Barack Obama is expected to address a range of topics when he arrives in Kenya tomorrow. The Kenyan government says it plans to discuss security and trade, while opposition parties and civil society want good governance and human rights added to the agenda, according to news reports. We hope the discussion includes the commitments to improve press freedom that the Kenyan government made to CPJ last week.

On July 15, we released our special report, "Broken Promises: How Kenya is failing to uphold its commitment to a free press," in Nairobi to a room full of more than 50 Kenyan and foreign journalists. The report found that a combination of legal and physical harassment, as well as concentration in media ownership, is making it increasingly difficult for journalists to work freely in Kenya.

Press Releases   |   Kenya

Kenya falls short on promises for press freedom

New CPJ report finds worsening climate for journalists in traditionally open Kenya

New York, July 15, 2015--A combination of legal and physical harassment, as well as concentration in media ownership, makes it increasingly difficult for journalists to work freely in Kenya, according to "Broken promises: How Kenya is failing to uphold its commitment to a free press," a report released today by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

July 15, 2015 5:23 PM ET

Reports   |   Kenya

Broken promises

How Kenya is failing to uphold its commitment to a free press

Kenya’s constitution guarantees freedom of the media, but President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee coalition has introduced several bills that undermine rather than enforce that principle. Journalists are vulnerable to legal harassment, threats, or attack, while news outlets are manipulated by advertisers or politician-owners. The deteriorating climate comes at a crucial time for Kenya’s democracy, security, and economy. A CPJ special report by Sue Valentine and Tom Rhodes

July 15, 2015 12:01 AM ET
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