Kenyan court finds criminal libel laws and regulations unconstitutional

Kenyan court finds criminal libel laws and regulations unconstitutional

This posting is an important update by the Committee to protect journalists and the freedom of the press worldwide:

Lawyers confer on the floor associated with Kenya's High Court in Nairobi, next to a copy of the nation's constitution, March 8, 2013. (Reuters/Steve Crisp)

Nyc, February 6, 2017–Today’s ruling simply by Kenya’s High Court that the nation’s criminal defamation law is out of constitute is a welcome step toward protecting press freedom and free talk, the Committee to Protect Journalists stated today.

Justice JM Mativo ruled that section 194 associated with Kenya’s penal code is incompatible with the country’s constitution and offers an unjustifiable limitation on Kenyans’ freedom of expression, according to press reports.

“Today’s judgment from Kenya’s High Court is a crucial victory in the fight to protect press freedom, ” CPJ Africa Plan Coordinator Angela Quintal said. “We call on the government not to contest the particular ruling and to amend the penal code to safeguard press freedom. inch

The court discovered the law–which imposes penalties as high as two years in prison for defamation–unnecessary, excessive, and unjustifiable in an open up and democratic society, and that legislation creates a disproportionate limit on independence of expression, the advocacy team Article 19, one of the parties that will petitioned the court, said inside a statement .

The ruling is at concert with a 2010 resolution in the African Commission on Human plus Peoples’ Rights calling on member claims to repeal criminal libel laws and regulations, calling them “a serious disturbance with freedom of expression. inch

A link to the court’s ruling can be found here .

EDITOR’S NOTE: This text has been updated to incorporate a link to the court’s ruling.

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