Kenya's High Court suspends media shutdown

05 February, 2018, 05:34 | Author: Jeannette Greene
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Nasa leader Raila Odinga holds up the Bible as he swears-in himself as the "people's president" at Uhuru Park, Nairobi.

Alongside its tweet about Miguna's arrest, Odinga's NASA coalition posted video online that showed shattered glass strewn across the front entrance of his house.

He had stood beside Odinga on Tuesday at the symbolic presidential inauguration, which the government has called an "illegal act" that put the lives of thousands of Kenyans at risk.

Judge Chacha Mwita has directed the government to restore the transmission for the Kenya Television Network, Citizen Television and Nation Television News and not to interfere with the stations until the case challenging the shutdown is heard. Some journalists say they spent the night in their newsroom to avoid arrest.

President Uhuru Kenyatta warned last Friday that any media broadcast outlet that covered Odinga's mock inauguration would be taken off air and their licences suspended.

The European Union asked politicians to recognise President Kenyatta's re-election and respect the Constitution and the rule of law. "If the government does not comply with a court order that is so clear, it will raise questions as to the wider rule of law".


Okiya Omtatah, an activist who filed the petition at the Milimani High Court to lift the TV blackout, said that a clerk who had attempted to serve the Communications Authority with the court order was detained for four hours and harassed.

They had defied orders by President Uhuru Kenyatta himself, who summoned media bosses last Friday and "expressly threatened to shut down" any station broadcasting the event, the Kenya Editors' Guild said in a statement.

Kenya's High Court on Friday ordered for the immediate release of the Kenyan politician Miguna Miguna following his arrest on a cash bail of $500. Omtatah said he had also delivered it to the internal security minister, attorney general and information minister.

The U.S. urged the Government and all Kenyans to respect freedom of expression and implement court orders calling for the restoration of television broadcasts.

During the protests in Nairobi, a 14-year old boy was shot by police as they engaged the opposition supporters. "Media organisations that disregarded this advice were shut down".

Miguna's arrest follows that of TJ Kajwang, a lawyer and MP who was arrested on Wednesday and is due to be charged with treason and unlawful assembly.

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