The Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) has finally filed its appeal in the Court of Appeal to challenge the judgement made by the High Court in the case against the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act of 2018. BAKE had filed a notice of appeal on February 21, 2020 but was not able to file the case due to the COVID-19 crisis.
BAKE has however been able to file the case remotely after the Judiciary instituted new filing rules in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The lobby’s Court of Appeal application was not certified urgent but will be heard with all parties present on the issue of urgency.
BAKE’s case challenging the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act 2018 was dismissed by High Court Judge Justice James A. Makau on February 20, 2020. Justice Makau found that the 26 sections of the Cybercrimes Law that BAKE had contested were constitutional, and therefore dismissed the whole case entirely.
“Our case challenging the law was filed in May 2018. In the same month, Justice Chacha Mwita suspended 26 sections of the law. The sections remained suspended until our case was dismissed. The 22 sections included provisions such as fraudulent use of electronic data, cybersquatting, intentional publishing of false or misleading data and a provision on child pornography,” stated BAKE.
“After our case was dismissed, the suspended sections came into effect and has been used by the state to target online content creators such as Cyprian Nyakundi and Robert Alai. This was our initial fear when we filed our case and it is our motivation for filing the appeal.”
According to BAKE, certain sections of the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act 2018 are unconstitutional and infringe on important freedoms that include: freedom of opinion, freedom of expression, freedom of the media and the right to privacy.