10 December 2018

Kenya: Police Barred From Parading Suspects On Social Media

The High Court has issued orders barring the Inspector General of Police and Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) from posting mug shots of suspects on social media before they are arraigned.

Justice Wilfrida Okwany issued temporary orders on Friday restraining Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet and Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti from posting photographs of suspects being booked at police stations on the internet, specifically on their Twitter and Facebook.

A Nairobi Henry Shitanda resident filed the petition in court terming it unconstitutional.

Mr Shitanda argued that posting the suspects' pictures on social media before they are charged is against the law.

PRIVACY

In the petition, he argued that sharing of the images online not only humiliates the suspects but also infringes on their rights to privacy.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigation has been sharing mug shots of suspects on social media after they had been arrested.

Mr Shitunda said that if the trend is not stopped, the booking photos as displayed on the DCI social media accounts may be used by other persons and shared to otherwise collect or solicit for its removal from the internet.

Justice Okwany certified the matter as urgent.

"That a conservatory order be and is hereby issued restraining the Inspector of General Police and Director of Criminal Investigations from posting suspects and or accused person booking photographs and on the internet and social media and more specifically on the DCI Facebook and Twitter page pending the determination of the petition," reads the court order.

The matter is set to be mentioned on March 5, 2019.

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