Kenya: UN Condemns Closure of Private TV Stations

Kenyan authorities switched off NTV, Citzen TV and KTN news signals for daring to broadcast the ‘self-inauguration’ of opposition leader, Raila Odinga as President.

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Crackdown on Media ( Photo: HRW - File Photo).

Nairobi: THE United Nations (UN) has condemned Kenyan authorities for failure to lift a ban on three banned private television stations despite a High Court order.

Kenyan authorities switched off NTV, Citzen TV and KTN news signals for daring to broadcast the ‘self-inauguration’ of opposition leader, Raila Odinga as President.

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The European Union, United States, press freedom watch groups among other human rights group have called on Kenyan authorities to respect press freedoms and restore the signals.

“We are also concerned at the government’s attempts to interfere with the rights to freedom of expression by reportedly warning that participation in the (Raila Odinga) ‘inauguration ceremony’ would lead to revocation of licenses,” the UN rights agency said.

Odinga has refused to accept electoral defeat to President Uhuru Kenyatta despite boycotting an October 26 run-off election.

He defied threats of being slapped with a treason charge — which carries the death penalty upon conviction — to take an ‘oath’ as the ‘people’s president’ on Tuesday.

The US, in a strongly-worded statement, expressed grave concern over Odinga’s ‘actions, and warned that the East African country is sliding towards un-constitutionalism.

“We reject actions that undermine Kenya’s Constitution and the rule of law,” Heather Nauert, the US State Department spokeswoman, said in a statement.

 

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