UN criticizes Kenyan Government for shutting down private TV stations


NTV, KTN News and Citizen Televisions remain off air since Tuesday 30, 2018. The three TV stations were shut down by the Government of Kenya for covering the swearing-in ceremony of Raila Odinga, an opposition leader.

Mr. Odinga, the NASA, Kenyan opposition leader after vowing never to acknowledge Uhuru Kenyatta as the president elect from the November and October polls, promised his supporters that he would swear in as the People’s President, a thing he did on January 30.

The Government led by Uhuru Kenyatta had earlier warned the opposition leader against swearing- in, threatened him with being charged with treason if he did, but all in vain. The Government as well tried to close the Park, Uhuru Park from where the ceremony was held but it still seemed not to work.

Mr. Odinga still swore himself in as the People’s President on 30th, but the function led to the closure of three most watched TV stations in Kenya that broadcasted it live on air.

According to the Government, the media was banned from covering Odinga’s ceremony since it was illegal, but the three TV stations did, hence closure.

The three stations filed a joint petition against their closure and after looking at it, the Kenyan High Court ordered that the stations be re-opened, a thing that the Government says will not do.

In the sense, the United Nations added its voice to international calls for the Kenyan government to respect the High Court’s order that three banned television stations be allowed to resume transmissions.

Rupert Colville, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, asked the government to respect and implement the judicial decision instructing it to allow the 3 TV stations that have been shut down to resume transmission.

Colville says the Commission is also concerned over the Government’s attempts to interfere with the rights to freedom of expression by reportedly warning that participation in the Opposition’s ‘inauguration ceremony’ would lead to revocation of licenses.

‘We are concerned that three TV stations remain suspended until today in Kenya after the Government accused them of “complicity” for airing footage of opposition leader Raila Odinga’s inauguration ceremony,’ Colville said.

There are other, less popular broadcasters of news like the state-owned KBC, which aired a documentary on penguins rather than broadcasting opposition leader Raila Odinga’s unofficial “inauguration” on Tuesday.

The other is K24, a privately owned channel linked to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s family.














Reporter: Shamilah Namuddu

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