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CORD celebrates as Security Laws are struck out

23 February 2015, 18:42 William Korir

Nairobi - Members of the CORD coalition could not help but celebrate after sections of the controversial Security Law were struck out by the High Court.

The High Court struck out seven clauses of the controversial law, which was hurriedly passed by parliament in hideous circumstances in December.

The five judge bench chosen by Chief Justice Willy Mutunga consisted of Justices Isaac Lenaola, Mumbi Ngugi, Hedwig Ong'udi, Hillary Chemitei and Louis Onguto.

They annulled sections 12, 16, 20, 26, 34, 48 and 95 of the law, to the wild celebration of CORD leaders led by principles Raila Odinga and Moses Wetangula.

Raila called the ruling a representation of the feelings of Kenyans and lauded the judges for making a bold move.

" This ruling represents the true feelings of Kenyans and shows that the judiciary can act in the right manner despite pressure from government," he said.

Wetangula termed the ruling as well executed.

" The ruling was what we expected. We cannot allow for the disintegration of the constitution by a government that is self served," he said.

Sections violating the freedom of the media and the freedom of expression are among those reviewed.

The judges upheld an accused person's right to be informed of evidence against him, and the right to be released on bail.

CORD had complained last year that the government broke all the rules of procedure in the National Assembly to pass the bill.

President Uhuru Kenyatta signed the bill into law on December 19, 2014 after Parliament passed it during a chaotic session the previous day.

In a ruling read by Justice Hillary Chemitei Monday, the court ruled that the clause which stopped media houses from reporting on matters that are under investigation by terrorism police as unconstitutional.

Chemitei ruled that the clause on the role the media houses can play was vague and that there was no specific moderation for the media to follow.

" The provisions of the security laws on freedom of expression and freedom of the media are unconstitutional," he read.

" The prohibitions are so wide and vague that it is difficult for the public to know exactly what is prohibited," he added.

The judge also added that there was no connection between the law and the fight against terrorism.

" We find no connection between the limitations imposed by the security laws and the fight against terrorism," he added.

Media houses as well as members of the opposition and civil societies had queried the clause on media freedom, saying that it was likely to be misused by governments.

When signing it into law though, president Uhuru Kenyatta said that the law would not be used for anything other than fighting terrorism.

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- MyNews24

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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