Economy

High court nullifies sections of Kenya’s security bill

Kenya Defense Forces arrive at the Westgate mall in Nairobi on September 22, 2013. FILE
Kenya Defense Forces arrive at the Westgate mall in Nairobi on September 22, 2013. Al-Shabaab sought to break the Kenyan spirit, but we cannot cave in to their threats and intimidation. FILE 

The High Court has overturned restrictions on media reporting of security operations in a major ruling against Kenya’s proposed anti-terror laws.

Also nullified were sections of the Security Laws (Amendment) Bill 2014 touching on the right to a fair hearing.

These include changes to the Criminal Procedure Code, Prevention of Terrorism Act, Prevention of Organised Crime Act, Narcotics Control Act and Counter Trafficking in Persons Act allowing prosecutors to withhold evidence and frustrate release on bail.

Many other sections were, however, found not to be at odds with the supreme law.

The judges found the section of the security law that called for more control on the media violates the constitution by limiting freedom of expression.

The court had suspended parts of the anti-terror law in January when the case seeking its nullification had first come before them.

Kenya’s government argues the new laws are needed to deal with attacks by Al-Shabaab militants who control of parts of neighbouring Somalia and have been involved in terror attacks against Kenyan targets.