Published: Wed, February 07, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Merle Christensen

Kenyan police fire teargas at demonstrators demanding TV stations reopen

Kenyan police fire teargas at demonstrators demanding TV stations reopen

The unprecedented act of censorship sparked a local and worldwide backlash against the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta, who won an election in October.

Two other opposition lawmakers were also arrested and later released for their involvement in the ceremony.

Kenyan police on Saturday briefly detained a third opposition legislator who attended a symbolic "swearing-in" of opposition leader Raila Odinga that was a direct challenge to President Uhuru Kenyatta, who won re-election in October 2017.

Separately, a court ordered police to halt attempts to arrest at least three Nation Media Group journalists.

According to the charge sheet presented in court, Miguna was charged with being present and consenting to the administration of an oath to commit a capital offense namely treason.

Campaigning lawyer Miguna Miguna was arrested on Friday in a dawn raid on his home.

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The move prompted global condemnation, with the United Nations later criticising Kenyan officials for failing to comply with a ruling by the country's High Court to lift the block on the channels.

Justice Kimaru had on Monday morning summoned the IG and DCI to appear in court at 2 pm to give an explanation as to why they should evade judges of contempt for failing to comply with orders issued on Friday for the release of Miguna.

"Once again the state is willfully violating Mr Miguna's rights by moving him without any notice to his lawyers or his family and, in order to frustrate their access to him, to a court stationed outside Nairobi", Isaac Okero, president of the Law Society of Kenya, told reporters.

Odinga's supporters protested against the charges, blocking roads and clashing with police in the western city of Kisumu, a Reuters witness said. A police spokesman said he was not aware of his detention. A government official, who asked not to be named, confirmed its authenticity.

The government took three private television channels off the air on Tuesday as they began to cover of the opposition ceremony.

"There is no way they can arrest our general and jail him for one week before presenting him to court", protester Denis Ouma said.

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