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Kenya yet to attain media freedom, rights group say

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PHOTO CAPTION… Haki Africa’s Executive Director Hussein Khalid. [Photo/Maxwell]

Human rights defenders at the Coast have criticised the government for what they termed as continuous muzzling of the media. 

Led by Haki Africa’s Executive director Hussein Khalid, they said that the country was losing its glory attained from the constitution adding that the government should feel ashamed and retract.

Speaking at Haki Africa offices in Mombasa on Tuesday during commemoration of the ‘World radio day’, Khalid said that the country was no longer enjoying the freedom of the press as the government has employed a scheme to kill the media space in the country.

Khalid said that the government was violating against the constitution and Kenyans rights as well by denying them right to access information without any obstacle.He said that the ‘World radio day’ and the ‘World press freedom day’ celebrate every 3rd of May each year meant nothing for this country since the government did not recognise the importance of the press.

“Where can we go without a vibrant media like the one we have in Kenya, the government must stop muzzling the media and harassing journalists,” he said.

Khalid said that the country has gained all the benefits and democratic space through the strength of the media and Kenyans have directly benefited from such efforts from the press.

“Let’s recognise the media as strong partner in economic development, growth of democracy, and a unique tool in uniting Kenyans and not as the government’ enemy,” added the human rights icon in the country.

He vowed to work with the media in the fight for their rights and working space in the country.

The Haki Africa Executive director urged journalists never to be scared or feel intimidated by the Jubilee administration but instead focus more on empowering Kenyans to fight for their rights.

On his part, Juhudi center Executive director Simon Katee said that Kenyans enjoy their democratic space today because of the efforts journalists have put in enlightening them of their rights.  

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