The Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) is set to appeal the High Court ruling which declared the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act 2018 is “valid in its entirety” and dismissed the case. BAKE had moved to court to challenge various provisions in the Act which the bloggers’ lobby argued constituted an infringement on fundamental freedoms
However, on February 20, 2020, High Court Judge James Makau declared that the law is valid in its entirety. Justice Makau found that the 26 sections of the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes law that had been contested by BAKE were constitutional.
The Cybercrimes Law was signed into law by President Uhuru Kenyatta on 16th May 2018. In the same month, BAKE filed a case (petition 206 of 2018) challenging the constitutionality of 26 sections of the Cybercrimes Act. In the case, BAKE sued the Attorney General, Speaker of the National Assembly, Inspector General of Police, and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). Article 19 and the Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ) were enjoined in the case.
BAKE went to court out of its concern that several provisions of the new law were unconstitutional and constituted an infringement on fundamental freedoms. In its opinion, 26 sections of the law threatened the freedom of opinion, freedom of expression, freedom of the media, freedom and security of the person, right to privacy, right to property and the right to a fair hearing.
“This ruling is a blow to digital rights in Kenya, especially freedom of expression and freedom of the media. We intend to appeal this decision immediately”,stated BAKE in a blog post.