Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed controversial Security Amendment Act 2014 into law that aims to enhance the fight against terrorism in the East African nation.
This new anti-terror legislation gives the security and intelligence agencies the right to
- Detain terror suspects for up to one year from the current 90 days.
- Imprison journalists up to 3 years if they fail to obtain police permission before investigating or publishing stories on domestic terrorism and security issues.
- Punish guilty person up to 30 years in prison, if illegal weapons are recovered from his premises.
- Imprison person promoting ideology based on violence to advance political, religious or social change up to 14 years in jail.
However, opposition parties and civil rights groups have condemned this law and clearly mentioned that it will turn Kenya into a police state.
In past years, Kenya has become victim of terrorism, especially due to increasing terror attacks from Somalia’s based Al Qaeda-linked Al- Shebab terror group.
In November 2014, Al-Shabab militants had killed 64 people in two attacks in the north-eastern region of Kenya bordering Somalia.
In 2013, Al-Shabab militants had killed 67 people in Westgate shopping centre siege in Nairobi (Kenya’s Capital).