UN raises concern over suspension of TV stations in Kenya

Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga of the National Super Alliance (NASA) holds a bible as he takes a symbolic presidential oath of office in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said it was concerned that three television stations remained suspended for the third day on Friday in Kenya.

The suspension came after the Kenyan Government’s accused them of complicity for airing footage of opposition leader Raila Odinga’s “inauguration ceremony”.

The UN human rights wing said it understood that the continued suspension was in spite of an interim order by a Kenyan High Court, instructing the Government to allow the television stations to resume transmission.

“We call on the Government to respect and implement the judicial decision. We are also concerned at the Government’s attempts to interfere with the rights to freedom of expression.

“This is by reportedly warning that participation in the “inauguration ceremony” would lead to revocation of licences. Media organisations that disregarded this advice were shut down,” the UN stated.

The UN agency urged the Government and the opposition in Kenya to work towards resolving the current situation through dialogue.

It added that the resolution should be with full respect for the rule of law and the rights to freedom of expression, association, assembly and political participation.

NAN/Confidence Okwuchi