Kenya Moves One Step Closer to Total Ban on Porn

NAIROBI, Kenya — The parliamentary ICT committee of Kenya’s National Assembly has approved a controversial amendment to the country’s 2018 “Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act” (CMCA), which now will include a blanket ban on all “pornography,” declaring it a “vice.”

According to local news sources, the amendment proposed by Garissa Township MP and anti-porn crusader Aden Duale, is now headed to the Assembly’s floor for a vote.

The committee report dismissed the constitutional issues brought up by free speech advocates and a local bloggers’ association, claiming that “the stakeholder proposes the deletion of the clause, but does not offer alternatives of addressing the vice of pornography.”

As XBIZ reported last month, several local and international free speech groups sent an open letter to Duale expressing deep concern over his amendment.

According to a statement by free speech advocacy group Article 19 East Africa, six organizations — including Access Now, the Bloggers Association of Kenya, Defenders Coalition, the Kenya ICT Action Network and the Kenya Union of Journalists — appealed to Duale for the immediate withdrawal of his new censorship bill, alleging that “if enacted, an outright ban on pornography will be enforceable in Kenya, and the government will possess the power to interfere with access to communications platforms and digital technologies.”

To read the full letter from Kenya’s free speech groups, visit Article19.org.

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