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Photo: © Jimmy Kamude/IRIN Officers patrol in Mpeketoni (file photo).

Kenya: High Court Suspends Eight Clauses of the Security Law, Refers Case to Supreme Court

January 3, 2015

Photo: © Jimmy Kamude/IRIN Officers patrol in Mpeketoni (file photo). Photo: © Jimmy Kamude/IRIN
Officers patrol in Mpeketoni (file photo).[/caption] THE High court has temporarily suspended eight clauses in the security law amendment bill 2014 that was signed and passed into law by president Uhuru Kenyatta in December 2014. Speaking during the ruling on Friday, Justice George Odunga said the security bill cannot be made in a way that limits the freedom of Kenyans. “We cannot limit the freedoms and inalienable rights in the pretext of fighting terrorism, that must be done in the confines of the law,” Odunga said. He suspended clause 12,16,26,29,46,56,58 and 64. Odunga referred the case to Chief justice Willy Mutunga who is expected to form a three bench judge that will further deliberate on the case petitioned by Coalition of Reforms and Democracy. The government has however applied for a thirty day stay of the conservatory orders directed by Justice Odunga while Kenya National commission on Human rights objects to partial issuance of the orders. Part of clause 12 states that: 12. The Penal Code is amended by inserting the following new section immediately after section 66? Prohibited publications and broadcasts. 66A. (1) A person who publishes, broadcasts or causes to be published or distributed, through print, digital or electronic means, insulting, threatening, or inciting material or images of dead or injured persons which are likely to cause fear and alarm to the general public or disturb public peace commits an offence and is liable, upon conviction, to a fine not exceeding five million shillings or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or both. Part of clause 12 states that: 12. The Penal Code is amended by inserting the following new section immediately after section 66? Prohibited publications and broadcasts. 66A. (1) A person who publishes, broadcasts or causes to be published or distributed, through print, digital or electronic means, insulting, threatening, or inciting material or images of dead or injured persons which are likely to cause fear and alarm to the general public or disturb public peace commits an offence and is liable, upon conviction, to a fine not exceeding five million shillings or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or both. (2) A person who publishes or broadcasts any information which undermines investigations or security operations by the National Police Service or the Kenya Defence Forces commits an offence and is liable, upon conviction, to a fine not exceeding five million shillings or a imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or both. Clause 64 also states that; The Prevention of Terrorism Act is amended by inserting the following new sections immediately after section 30— The Security Laws (Amendment) Act, 2014 Publication of offending material. 30A. (1) A person who publishes or utters a statement that is likely to be understood as directly or indirectly encouraging or inducing another person to commit or prepare to commit an act of terrorism commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years. (2) For purposes of subsection (1), a statement is likely to be understood as directly or indirectly encouraging or inducing another person to commit or prepare to commit an act of terrorism if— (a) the circumstances and manner of the publications are such that it can reasonably be inferred that it was so intended; or (b) the intention is apparent from the contents of the statement. (3) For purposes of this section, it is irrelevant whether any person is in fact encouraged or induced to commit or prepare to commit an act of terrorism. This comes after Cord filed suit seeking conservatory (extremely urgent) orders to stop implementation of the Security Laws (Amendment) Act. Cord wanted the High Court to determine whether the Act violated the Bill of Rights and whether its passage violated National Assembly Standing Orders. *Source Allafrica]]>

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