The Kenyan government has withdrawn criminal charges against eight journalists arrested during a demonstration against a new media law, writes Dennis Itumbi for journalism.co.za.
In a letter to the journalistsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ lawyer outlining this decision, the Attorney General admits that there was little evidence to prosecute them.
The eight had faced charges of participating in an illegal demonstration. They had been due to appear in court on 16th February.
The journalists had earlier asked for the charges to be dropped, pointing out in a letter:
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œYou will notice after reading the statements, that not a single witness is able to identify any of the accused persons. As a matter of fact all the eight accused persons who had their cameras, note books and pens were covering their colleagues who were in the procession.
"They were thus in the line of duty, covering events.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
The law they were protesting against has empowered the minister for Internal Security to raid, seize equipment and close down broadcast stations without prior notice.