RSF denounces repression of the press in Kenya

Abidjan- Cote d'Ivoire (PANA) -- "Reporters Sans Frontieres" (RSF), an international organisation advocating press freedom, has denounced a string of repressive measures against the private press in Kenya.
In a letter to Home Affairs minister Noah Katana Ngala, RSF secretary general Robert Menard urged him to guarantee freedom and security for journalists to perform their duties throughout the country.
"Within less than a week, the police closed one radio station, two private TV stations, and arrested two journalists," the petition recalled, insisting that "the government should condemn such violations of the freedom of the press.
" It noted that "the closing of the two private TV stations was contrary to a ruling of the Higher Court made in 2000.
" Reports say Kenyan policemen last Wednesday closed down the "Citizen FM" private radio station as well as "Citizen TV" in Kenya.
Both media belong to Samuel Kamau Macharia, who was arrested and subsequently released a few hours later against a 500,000- shilling bail (1 US dollar = 78 Kenyan Shillings).
The reports said officials of the Kenyan Commission of Communications (KCC) accompanied Kenyan police to the radio station, which they (KCC) accused of not complying with the 1998 Communication Act.
Macharia himself was indicted for illegally operating the radio station and challenging the police when they came to search its premises.
RSF recalled that "Citizen FM" was closed for the same reasons in 2000, but a High Court in Kenya later authorised the station to resume broadcasting pending a decision from an Appeal Court.
The Supreme Court had also asked the CCK not to interfere in the case.

27 april 2001 08:57:00

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