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Warning issued over alleged plan by government to shut down internet and media

We have received reports of plans to shut down the broadcast media and the internet and throw the country into information darkness ahead of tomorrow's demonstrations - Media stakeholders

Kenya Editors Guild (KEG) president Churchill Otieno and other stakeholders addressing the press on Sunday, April 2, 2023

The Kenya Media Sector Working Group has warned of a plot being hatched to shut down the broadcast media and shut down internet services as Azimio leaders take to the streets for anti-government protests on Monday, April 03.Addressing the press on Sunday, April 02, Kenya Editors Guild (KEG) president Churchill Otieno cautioned that there are plans to plunge the nation into "information darkness" by gagging the media and internet services.

He added that the move will lead the nation into a bad place and could have devastating consequences.

"We have received reports of plans to shut down the broadcast media and the internet and throw the country into information darkness ahead of tomorrow's demonstrations.

"This will be most ill-advised assault on Kenyan democracy because it denies the public their right to information," Mr. Otieno noted.

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He added that barring the media from its role of informing the public will be against the constitution

"However we note with concern the wave of attacks both online and offline meted against media workers in their line of duty," he said stating that over 20 attack cases have already been reported since the demonstrations began.

"While the safety of journalists should be guaranteed the Kenya media sector working group notes with alarm the increasing number of journalists targeted by law enforcement officers."

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In a lengthy statement, he also put the authorities on notice over the series of violence metted on journalists covering the protests.

"We demand that the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Inspector General of the Police and the Independent Policing Oversight Authority to ensure accountability for all threats and violence against journalists through thorough, effective and independent investigations.

"We call upon them to call to book the perpetrators while ensuring access to effective remedies and compensations to the victims." He added.

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