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Media warned against fueling hate speech

07 July 2014, 09:12

Nairobi - The Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) has cautioned the media against taking advantage of the prevailing political situation in the country to air content containing hate speech.

In a statement by CAK’s Director of Consumer and Public Affairs, Mutua Muthusi, the organisation said it had come to the attention of the authority that some broadcast stations were making the most of the political problems to gain mileage.

Muthusi said that the authority reminded broadcasters that the constitutionally-guaranteed Freedom of Expression did not extend to spread of hate speech, propaganda for war, incitement to violence, advocacy of hatred that, among others, constitutes ethnic incitement, vilification of others persons or community or incitement to cause harm.

“The Kenya Information and Communications (Amendment) Act, 2013, outlaws the airing of hate speech, or material that may incite ethnic violence or propagate war in the country,” said Muthusi.

The political situation in the country has been tense since the leader of opposition, Raila Odinga, jetted into the country and asked for national dialogue with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The opposition has since held political rallies across the country and culminates at Monday Saba Saba rally at Uhuru Park.

At the same time, the authority wishes to remind members of the public that the limitations to freedom of expression highlighted above also apply to the conduct of individuals or groups of persons in cyberspace.

“Spread of hate speech, incitement to violence and advocacy of hatred that constitutes ethnic incitement or vilification of other persons or community in cyberspace/online (and indeed on any other platform) is unlawful and actionable in law,” said Muthusi.

 - CAJ News

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