Brawl breaks out in parliament over controversial anti-terrorism law in Kenya. (Screen Capture of KTN)
Brawl breaks out in parliament over controversial anti-terrorism law in Kenya.  (Screen Capture of KTN)
Brawl breaks out in parliament over controversial anti-terrorism law in Kenya.
(Screen Capture of KTN)

New anti-terrorism law requires journalists to get approval from police before publishing or broadcasting stories, imposes anti-stripping sentence and says terrorist suspects can be held up to a year .

BBC News Africa is reporting that Kenya has passed a controversial anti-terrorism law that allows suspected terrorists to be held for a year and puts restrictions on the press. The author writes:

“It was passed on Thursday during a chaotic parliamentary session, with opposition MPs warning that Kenya was becoming a “police state”.

The government has said it needs more powers to fight militant Islamists threatening Kenya’s security.

Somalia’s al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group has stepped up attacks in Kenya.

The new anti-terror legislation gives the security and intelligence agencies the right to detain terror suspects for up to one year and requires journalists to obtain police permission before investigating or publishing stories on domestic terrorism and security issues.”

The anti-terror measures are as follows:

  • Bans publishing or broadcasting of “insulting, threatening, or inciting material”, images of dead or injured people “likely to cause fear” and information that undermines security operations (this covers social media). Punishable by a fine of $55,000, a three-year jail term or both
  • Terror suspects can be held for questioning for 360 days
  • Limits number of refugees and asylum seekers to 150,000 – those applying for refugee status not allowed to leave camps
  • Sets up National Counter-Terrorism Center to co-ordinate security agencies’ efforts
  • Public officials found guilty issuing irregular IDs or allowing irregular entry into the country liable to a minimum of 15 years in jail
  • Person in charge of a premises where weapons recovered may face up to 30 years in prison
  • Person promoting ideology based on violence to advance political, religious or social change may face up to 14 years in jail

Read more at BBC News Africa.

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