Kenyan police have arrested several journalists and activists who were
protesting a new media bill passed by parliament that would impose
strict controls on the press.
Reports from the Kenyan capital,
Nairobi, say the police broke up Friday's protest, which took place
shortly before President Mwai Kibaki was scheduled to speak at a
celebration marking Kenya's independence day.
The media bill was
passed Wednesday and has been sent to President Kibaki for his
signature. The measure would set heavy fines and prison sentences for
perceived press offenses, would allow government ministers to dictate
content on broadcast media and would allow the seizure of equipment.
and international media advocacy groups are urging Mr. Kibaki not to
sign the bill. The chairman of the Kenya Media Council, Wachira Waruru,
called the measure a blow against freedom of the press.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP.