The closure of three major TV stations for the live broadcast of the “swearing-in” of opposition National Super Alliance leader Raila Odinga as the people’s president, has entered its seventh day, despite the High Court suspending the shutdown for 14 days pending a hearing to challenge the order on February 1.
Lobbies on Sunday said the defiance of the order and the crackdown on opposition leaders “are a recipe for the total breakdown of the rule of law and order in Kenya and can only lead to more violations of human rights”.
The Civil Society Reference Group said the reaction by the government to an event its top leadership had described as a comedy was excessive.
“It is unfathomable and ironic that three TV stations, whose role was only to cover an activity the government had definitely allowed to proceed, are being punished,” the group said.
“They are being punished without being accorded a hearing so that the veracity of their alleged offense can be determined lawfully.”
THE COURT ORDER
Mr Suba Churchill, the group’s convener, said the proper channel for the government to deal with the stations whose broadcasts it deemed illegal is to prosecute them.