Procedure : 2009/2510(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : RC-B6-0038/2009

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 15/01/2009 - 10.3
CRE 15/01/2009 - 10.3

Votes :

PV 15/01/2009 - 11.3

Texts adopted :


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14 January 2009
B6‑0055/2009} RC1
pursuant to Rule 115(5) of the Rules of Procedure, by
   Colm Burke, Bernd Posselt, Charles Tannock, Eija-Riitta Korhola, Tunne Kelam, Laima Liucija Andrikienė and Tadeusz Zwiefka, on behalf of the PPE-DE Group
   Pasqualina Napoletano, Glenys Kinnock, Ana Maria Gomes and Thijs Berman, on behalf of the PSE Group
   Marios Matsakis, Frédérique Ries and Marielle De Sarnez, on behalf of the ALDE Group
   Eoin Ryan, Mieczysław Edmund Janowski, Adam Bielan, Hanna Foltyn‑Kubicka and Ryszard Czarnecki, on behalf of the UEN Group
   Margrete Auken, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
   Vittorio Agnoletto, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group
replacing the motions by the following groups:
   ALDE (B6‑0038/2009)
   PSE (B6‑0046/2009)
   Verts/ALE (B6‑0047/2009)
   PPE-DE (B6‑0048/209)
   UEN (B6‑0050/2009)
   GUE/NGL (B6‑0055/2009)
on press freedom in Kenya

European Parliament resolution on press freedom in Kenya 

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on PlaceTypePlaceTypeKenya,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

–  having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas, on Friday, 2 January 2009, President Kibaki assented to the Kenya Communications (Amendment) Bill 2008, which amended the Kenya Communications Act of 1998,

B.   whereas the bill, as it is, disregards the rights to freedom of expression and press freedom as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and echoed by other international conventions which the Kenyan Government has signed and ratified, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights,

C.   whereas the two main problematic clauses are Sections 88 and 46; whereas Section 88 gives the Information Minister considerable powers to raid media houses that are deemed to be a threat to national security and to dismantle their broadcasting equipments; whereas Section 46 gives the state the power to regulate contents to be aired and published by electronic and print media respectively,

D.   whereas according to a press release issued by the East African Journalists' Association (EAJA), the media bill would introduce direct media censorship by the government,

E.   whereas Prime Minister Odinga has joined widespread opposition to the legislation; whereas Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) officials recently held crisis talks, claiming that the President had failed to consult the Prime Minister over the media law,

F.  whereas, according to the Kenyan National Commission for Human Rights, the presidential nod to the bill indicates that the Grand Coalition is not working in unison,

G.  whereas freedom of expression is a fundamental human right, as stated in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

H.   whereas, a year ago, following flawed presidential elections in Kenya, street demonstrations led to riots and ethnic clashes that spread across the country, killing more than 1 000 people and leaving another 350 000 homeless,

1.  Regrets the signing of the Kenya Communications (Amendment) Bill by President Kibaki, who neglected to take widely reported reservations about this bill into consideration at the time of signature;

2.   Welcomes, however, President Kibaki's recent move to revise the media law and his gesture to consider amendments to the legislation proposed by members of the media;

3.   Reiterates its commitment to press freedom and the fundamental rights of freedom of expression, information and association; underlines that access to information representing a plurality of opinions is essential to empower citizens;

4.   Calls on the Kenyan Government to initiate stakeholder consultations in order to build consensus on how to better regulate the communications industry without interfering with press freedom; asks President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga to do their utmost to guarantee that any updated version of the new media bill will be compatible with the principles of freedom of expression and information;

5.   Underlines the need to address the culture of impunity in Kenya in order to bring those responsible for the post-election violence a year ago to justice; calls for the setting-up of an independent commission, consisting of local and international legal experts, to carry out investigations and prosecutions; notes that President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga have agreed in theory to create such a commission, but that it has yet to be formed;

6.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments of the PlaceTypePlaceTypeMemberPlaceType States, the Government of Kenya, the Co-Presidents of the ACP EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, the East African Community, and the Chairmen of the Commission and the Executive Council of the African Union.

Last updated: 15 January 2009Legal notice