Internet Freedoms Education Campaign

Henry Maina makes a point during the discussion that was held at Nailab, Nairobi

If you say something defamatory against someone, you cannot use something like “Someone said it first, I was only repeating what had already been said” as an excuse. That does not exempt you from taking responsibility. It does not exempt you from prosecution either.

This and many more lessons were shared with us during the African Declaration of Internet Rights & Freedoms event that was held at Nailab, on Tuesday 15th December 2015. Sitting on the panel was; Nanjira Sambuli, Henry Maina and Mugambi Laibuta. The event was hosted by Daudi Were.

It was noted from the very beginning that many are the online users in Kenya who are unaware of their rights and freedoms and this was the main reason given as to why many ended up prosecutions in their hands.

Evidently, there was a need to educate every Kenyan who uses the online space about their rights and the kind of trouble they risk getting into out of ignorance, and this discussion could not have been had at a better time.

The case of Allan Wadi, a fourth year student in Moi University, who was sentenced to Jail and was only released after an appeal went through, and after serving 6months of his 2-year sentence in prison was cited. Allan had been charged for using his Facebook page to undermine the authority of a public figure. His case was used to caution Kenyans on how conduct themselves online in order to steer out of trouble.

The discussion started with the screening of a video that showcased problems encountered by frequent internet users in the online space.

Sentiments were shared on matters politics to the constitution and the law. It became apparent that social media was a platform to be reckoned with during the Westgate terror attack and that it has continued to prove that it cannot be ignored ever since.

The African Declaration on Internet Rights & Freedoms is a document that every internet user should familiarize themselves with.

Here are some of the tweets that were shared online during the discussion using the hashtag #iFreeKE