COVID-19 Civic Freedom Tracker

Keep Civic Space Healthy

This tracker monitors government responses to the pandemic that affect civic freedoms and human rights, focusing on emergency laws. For information about our methodology, click here.

For more information and analysis by region, click here.

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The COVID-19 Civic Freedom Tracker is a collaborative effort by the ICNL, ECNL, and our global network of partners, with generous research support from the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Fionnuala D. Ní Aoláin. This is an ongoing effort, and we welcome you to email us at adeblock@icnl.org and simona@ecnl.org to share additional resources.


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Kenya

Public (State Curfew) Order, 2020

The order imposes a daily curfew and restrictions on individuals' movement, on account of the coronavirus. Public gatherings are prohibited during curfew period. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 27 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Movement

Type: order

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Kenya

Public Order No. 2 of 2021 on the Coronavirus Pandemic

On the advice of the National Security Council, the Council of Governors, and recommendations of the National Emergency Response Committee on COVID-19, the President declared the Counties of Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu and Nakuru, a disease infected area. The Order introduced a new lockdown, barring travel by road or air; suspended all public gatherings and in-person meetings of whatever nature, including for parliament and county assemblies "until further notice." The ongoing curfew hours are revised from 20h00 to 04h00 in those counties, while a curfew was introduced for the rest of the country between 22h00 and 04h00. All physical meetings or events including social gatherings shall have a cap of no more than 15 persons until further notified. There is a prohibition against political gatherings "until otherwise directed." 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 26 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Movement

Type: order

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Kenya

Ministry of Health Measures

The order suspends all public gatherings and meetings for 30 days. The order also states that Kenyans must not "abuse" social media platforms or spread misinformation that "can cause fear and panic." (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 13 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Disinformation, Expression

Type: order

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Kenya

Public Health (COVID19 Restriction of Movement of Persons and Related Measures) Rules, 2020

The Public Health Rules prohibit public gatherings except for funerals (which are limited to 15 people). Movement is prohibited in and out of places that the Minister has declared infected areas. Public transport services are required to operate at a limited capacity. 

(

See primary source or citation here

)

Introduced 17 Apr 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Movement

Type: regulation

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Kenya

Arrests under Cyber Crimes Act of 2018 for Spreading "False" News

Kenya's Computer Misuse and Cyber Crimes Act of 2018, which includes clauses criminalizing "false information" and "publication of false information," has been used to make arrests and to charge persons sharing information related to the pandemic.  One man was arrested for publishing a tweet indicating that he had heard about an outbreak in east Africa. A student was arrested for tweeting that the government was deceiving the public regarding the pandemic. Other bloggers have also been arrested for spreading "false information." These arrests have come alongside a warning issued by the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Mutahi Kagwe, indicating that, "these rumours must stop... but because I know empty appeals will not work, we will proceed and arrest a number of them to prove our point."

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 22 Sep 2020

Issue(s): Disinformation, Press Freedom, Expression

Type: practice

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Kenya

Police Brutality in Enforcing Lockdown

Numerous reports indicate that doznes of civilians were killed by Kenyan police during early stages of the COVID-19 lockdown. There are also reports that police used teargas and gunshots without warning at the start of lockdown hours. By April 16, at least 12 deaths had been reported as resulting from police brutality in lockdown enforcement. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 15 Sep 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Movement

Type: practice

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Kenya

Arrests of Peaceful Protesters on Saba Saba

Police arrested fifty peaceful protesters under COVID-19 public gathering ban provisions, and they used tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting police brutality. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 7 Jul 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Movement

Type: practice

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This is an ongoing effort, and we welcome you to email us at adeblock@icnl.org and simona@ecnl.org to share additional resources.