10 bloggers Targeted By Police To Be Defended By Orengo And Others


Siaya Senator James Orengo is set to show his masterpiece on Wednesday as he will be representing 10 bloggers wanted by the police over several criminal allegations.

The senator is the leading lawyer of all other lawyers that would be standing for the defence council.

The bloggers are currently being interrogated intensely by Directorate of Criminal Investigations for exploiting a licensed telecommunication gadget under section 29 of the Information and Communication Act.

The authorities are blaming the bloggers for sharing on social media some provocative and criminal information concerning the recent Al Shabaab attack in KDF camp suited in Somalia. Each of them are accused of publishing provoking accounts on their Facebook and Tweeter.

The bloggers are Robert Alai, Cyprian Nyakundi, Patrick Msafari, Seth Odongo, Charles Dienya, Anthony Mburu, Eddy Illah, Phelix G-Cord, George Nyongesa and Yassin Juma.

While some of the bloggers were taken into custody, others were questioned.

Alai told The Standard that everybody involved will appear for further questioning on Wednesday including the bloggers, lawyers Orengo, Harun Ndubi and the head of investigations at DCI John Kariuki.

Quoting Alai:

We agreed to reappear on Wednesday for further grilling and Orengo will lead other lawyers in representing us. We feel we are being harassed for no reason.

Though the arrest of bloggers has caused an uproar among Kenyans, police defend their actions and insist that the bloggers have drawn the attention of the law by posting irritating and criminal information and pictures.

Kariuki hinted that:

  We have complaints and that is why we are investigating them. No one is targeting them wrongly.

Director Henry Maina argues that State Officials are now making use of Section 29 of the Information and Communication Act regarding ‘improper use of a licensed telecommunication gadget’ more frequently than not, to target online publishers.

He maintained that “Article 33 of the Kenyan Constitution explicitly states that every person has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, or impart information or ideas.

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He went on to explain that the recent surge in the arrests of online publishers do not march up the high amount in respect to limitations that can be qualified on expression under Article 33 (2), “…and thus the actions by the police are unconstitutional,” .

Maina called on the government to stick to the Constitution especially where freedom of expression is concerned and refrain from using this provision to suppress free speech and democratic debate.