The Latest: Kenya court orders government TV shutdown to end
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The Latest on Kenya’s government crackdown on media after opposition’s mock inauguration (all times local):
Kenya’s High Court has ordered the government to end its shutdown of the country’s top three TV stations after they tried to broadcast images of the opposition leader’s mock inauguration.
Journalists and human rights groups have raised an outcry over the shutdown that began Tuesday. Some journalists say they spent the night in their newsroom to avoid arrest.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga declared himself “the people’s president” in protest of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s election win last year. Odinga claims the vote was rigged and electoral reforms in the East African nation have not been made.
The government has responded by declaring the opposition movement a criminal organization and investigating “conspirators” in Tuesday’s ceremony.
Judge Chacha Mwita has directed the government to restore the transmission for the Kenya Television Network, Citizen Television and Nation Television News and not to interfere with the stations until the case challenging the shutdown is heard.
A popular TV news anchor in Kenya says he and two other journalists were forced to spend the night in their newsroom to avoid arrest as a government crackdown on media continues for coverage of the opposition leader’s mock inauguration.
The government shut down the East African nation’s three leading TV stations when they tried to broadcast Tuesday’s “swearing-in” of opposition leader Raila Odinga, who declared himself “the people’s president” in protest of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s election win last year.
Larry Madowo, a news anchor with Nation Television, says multiple sources informed him and colleagues that undercover policemen were waiting in the parking lot outside their offices.
Madowo says the journalists decided to spend the night in the newsroom for security reasons.