Subscribe

Kenyan anti-terror laws suspended by court on human rights concerns

The judge ruled that eight clauses of Kenya's new anti-terror laws, signed by President Kenyatta to combat the Islamic group al-Shabaab, must be examined by the courts to ensure their compatibility with personal liberties.

  • close
    People leave a mortuary last month after viewing the bodies of those killed in a December attack by Islamic militant group al-Shabaab in northern Kenya. The attack, which left 36 dead, prompted President Uhuru Kenyatta to shake up his national security team amid public outrage over the continuing violence.
    Khalil Senosi/AP/File
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

Kenya's High Court on Friday suspended some of the anti-terrorism measures signed into law two weeks ago by President Uhuru Kenyatta, saying objections raised by the opposition over the laws' constitutionality should be settled by the judiciary.

Mr. Kenyatta said when he signed the law on Dec. 19 that it did not go against the bill of rights or any provision of the constitution, but opposition groups have said the measures, which increased the time suspects can be held without charge to 360 days from 90 days, threaten liberties and free speech.

Kenyatta has faced mounting pressure to boost security since Somali al Shabaab rebels killed 67 people in a Nairobi shopping mall in September 2013 and after frequent attacks in 2014. Last month he replaced the interior minister and the police chief.

Issuing his ruling on Friday, High Court Judge George Odunga also criticized the manner in which the law was passed in parliament: opposition legislators threw books at the Speaker, shouted, chanted and sprinkled water over his deputy.

"I grant conservatory orders suspending the following clauses ... pending the hearing and determination of these petitions," Odunga said in his ruling, suspending eight clauses.

The ruling was greeted with cheers and jubilation in the Nairobi courtroom by members of Kenya's opposition coalition, which had filed the legal challenge, and its leader Raila Odinga. They punched the air, chanting "a people united shall never be defeated!"

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK