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NAFEO calls on president to withhold assent to media bill that threatens protection of sources

(MFWA/IFEX) - The Network of African Freedom of Expression Organisations (NAFEO) has expressed its consternation upon learning that the Parliament of Kenya adopted a new press bill which blatantly violates press freedom in this country. This law compels journalists to disclose their sources when sued in court.

NAFEO argues that by undermining the protection of sources, the bill constitutes a fundamental violation of media freedom.

The new law contravenes international legal instruments which guarantee freedom of the press, particularly the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.

The application of this law will result in a lack of confidence and fear on the part of citizens to give information to journalists, including information that serves the public interest.

NAFEO is very concerned about the use of such legislation in democratic context, which aims to silence the media and undermine free expression citizens' rights to information. VS ("NAFEO is very concerned about the use of such legislation in a democratic context in order to silence the media, violate free speech and the right to know of citizens of Kenya.").We therefore:
- condemn the adoption by Parliament of this draconian bill
- call on President Mwai Kibaki not to give assent to this information bill
- call on Kenyan authorities to allow journalists to work independently without threats and intimidation through the use of the law
- urge all human rights organisations to work to counter the decline of the democratic and human rights gains in Kenya

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