Kenya’s Kenyata Signs Tough Security Law

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Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta has signed into law a new controversial security bill which saw MPs trade blows in parliament. BBC reports:

It was passed on Thursday during a chaotic parliamentary session, with opposition MPs warning that Kenya was becoming a “police state”. The government has said it needs more powers to fight militant Islamists threatening Kenya’s security.

Somalia’s al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group has stepped up attacks in Kenya. The new anti-terror legislation requires journalists to obtain police permission before investigating or publishing stories on domestic terrorism and security issues.

It also stipulates that police must approve publication or broadcasting of information relating to investigations on terrorism. “We must all remember that we are still at war and still vulnerable to terror attacks,” Mr Kenyatta said in a televised address, defending the law.

He denied that it infringed on civil liberties. The BBC’s Dennis Okari in the capital, Nairobi, says the security bill has gone through various amendments. The provision giving the security and intelligence agencies power to intercept phone conversations without a court order was dropped, he says.

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