The Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) has decided to appeal the judgement made by the High Court in favour of the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act 2018.
This is after the petition by BAKE challenging the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act 2018 was dismissed by High Court Judge Mr Justice James A. Makau. The judge declared that the law was valid in its entirety and that the 26 suspended sections of the Cybercrimes Law that BAKE had contested were constitutional, and therefore threw out the whole case. The cybercrimes law is now in force and the 26 sections that had been previously suspended, have now been lifted.
BAKE however, disagrees with the high court’s decision and still has concerns that several provisions of the new law are unconstitutional and infringe on fundamental freedoms such as freedom of opinion, freedom of expression, freedom of the media and right to privacy.
“It is important to BAKE that the country has laws that respect the freedom of the media, freedom of expression and that are in line with our great constitution. We will do all we can to ensure that our members and the media fraternity have a safe space to express their views freely,” said BAKE Chairman, Mr. Kennedy Kachwanya.
BAKE decided to go to court after President Uhuru Kenyatta signed the bill into law in May 2018. The law proposed to address crimes done through electronic devices and online platforms. After keenly studying the bill, civil society organizations cited loopholes and irregularities. It was then that BAKE and interested parties who included Kenya Union of journalists and Article 19 decided to go to court to challenge some sections of the law.
In May 2018, Justice Chacha Mwita suspended 22 sections of the law. On 1st October of 2018 Justice Winfrida Okwany dismissed the prayers of the government to have the law enforced and said the orders issued by Justice Mwita were justified. The 22 sections included provisions such as fraudulent use of electronic data, cybersquatting, intentional publishing of false or misleading data, interception of content data and a provision on child pornography among others. They remained suspended until Justice Makau dismissed the case on 20th February 2020.
BAKE has commenced the appeal process by filing a Notice of Appeal which it did on 21st February 2020.