Anti-terror laws and the curtailment of media freedom: a comparative study between Kenya and Ethiopia
Mutungi, Zipporah Kagwiria
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This paper aims to study anti-terror laws and their use in the curtailment of media freedoms. It will be a comparative study between the anti-terror laws present in Ethiopia and those we have in Kenya with a view of establishing what future anti-terror laws in Kenya will look like or what direction they will take. The study established that section 12 of the Security Laws Amendment Act 2014 and the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (652/2009) of Ethiopia did indeed curtail the freedoms of the media and imposed unreasonable punishment on members of the media in the undertaking of their duties with regards to reporting on terrorist activities. The powers of the Kenyan and Ethiopian governments have been taken into account in this study and a parallel drawn to demonstrate how they have influenced the media through their use and interpretations of the anti-terror laws. In a bid to work toward anti-terror laws that do not curtail media freedoms but at the same time do not put Kenya at risk some of the recommendations would be laws that do not undermine the media in the fight against terror as the media are the eyes and ears of the people. At the same time the media must operate in a responsible manner and seek to work in a manner that does not jeopardize the security of the nation or that of any individual. The media must thus work towards effective and efficient self-regulation in a bid to prevent interference with national security operations while reporting responsibly on terror activities in the country so as to keep the masses informed. Effective self -regulation will in turn ensure that there is minimal interference from the government as the media disseminates information regarding any terror activities responsibly.