Saturday 7 December 2019

Kenyan court orders end to government’s TV shutdown

The initial media crackdown followed a mock inauguration staged by opposition leader Raila Odinga as “the people’s president”.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga was proclaimed
Opposition leader Raila Odinga was proclaimed "the people's president" in a mock inauguration this week (AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

Kenya’s high court has ordered the government to end its shutdown of the country’s top three TV stations after they tried to broadcast images of the opposition leader’s mock inauguration.

Journalists and human rights groups have raised an outcry over the shutdown that began on Tuesday. Some journalists said they spent the night in their newsroom to avoid arrest.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga declared himself “the people’s president” in protest over President Uhuru Kenyatta’s election win last year. Mr Odinga claims the vote was rigged and electoral reforms in the East African nation have not been made.

The government has responded by declaring the opposition movement a criminal organisation and investigating “conspirators” who set up Tuesday’s ceremony.

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.

PA Media

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