Kenya 🇰🇪 is an African country which practices Christianity. It was a British colony until 1962.

General censorship[]

Kenya is a highly conservative society where homosexual behaviour is punishable by prison. Sexual activity between two persons of the same gender can result in up to 14 years of imprisonment.

Individual press freedoms for the citizens of Kenya were still rather limited after they gained Independence. The new Kenyan government took control of most forms of the media in order to spread their vision of Kenyan ideals. However, at this time privately owned newspapers, such as the Standard emerged, although these private entities were still subject to governmental control and censorship.

The 2010 Constitution of the Kenyan government for the first time fully enumerated some individual rights to expression and information. However, there is a lack of unilateral freedom of expression for Kenyan citizens. Amongst the most notable omissions from the enumerated rights is the right to express propaganda for war or an incitement of violence. Moreover, the Kenyan government still retains some control over the spread of dissenting ideas during wartime. In the realm of media specifically, the Constitution prohibits the government from interfering with the spread of truthful information or with any individual's right to access to that information. The government nonetheless sets standards for media content and regulates the enforcement of those rules.

The Kenyan government, however, did not intend to staunchly adhere to these new mandates of the constitution. As recently as 2013, Kenyan policymakers amended previous laws to limit certain media coverage of terrorist attacks and attempted to suppress the reporting of the deteriorating safety in Kenya. The amendment to the Kenya Information and Communication Act works to stifle efforts of publications that put forth critical perspectives of the Kenyan government.

Although there have been some governmental efforts to enhance the press freedoms of Kenyan citizens, such as The Media Council Bill of 2013 which created a governmental body that would promote and protect the freedom of the media, the enforcement of the act did more harm than good in promoting press freedoms. According to an independent study conducted by Freedom House, Kenya's press rights are considered to be somewhat comprehensive. The press is only considered "partly free" largely because of the governmental efforts to enact laws that grant more control over media and publications. Moreover, previous laws, such as the Preservation of Public Security Act, which give the government the right to declare any information to be a security threat and censor that information, are still in effect and have yet to be repealed or amended.

Book censorship[]

  • The Satanic Verses - this novel by Salman Rushdie was banned in Kenya for blasphemy against Islam.

Internet censorship[]

Movie censorship[]

  • The Wolf of Wall Street - banned due to explicit sexual content, profanity, drug use and nudity.
  • Stories of Our Lives - This documentary about being gay in Kenya was banned due to "showing obscenity, explicit scenes of sexual activities", as well as promoting homosexuality.
  • Fifty Shades of Grey - banned due to its sexual content.
  • Rafiki - this film was banned due to its LGBT themes. However, after public outrage, the film's director, Wanuri Kahiu, sued the Kenya Film Classification Board for the film banning. The court ruled in favour of Kuhiu, effectively overturning the ban[1].

Television censorship[]

Sub-Saharan Africa (of which Kenya is part) is served by region-wide pay satellite channels, therefore Kenya has veto power over what the area can watch that isn't on the over-the-air broadcasters of the individual countries.

Video game censorship[]


External links[]