Fri | Jan 18, 2019

Legislators trade blows over new security laws

Published:Friday | December 19, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Children from Action Ministries get help picking out Christmas gifts from Atlanta Falcons offensive Tackle Jake Matthews during the NFL football team's annual Shop With A Pro outing. - AP


Kenyan legislators exchanged blows forcing parliament to adjourn the debate on proposed changes to security laws which government says will help fight terrorism, but which critics say are meant to silence dissent by curtailing civil liberties.

Opposition legislators threw the papers on the floor causing chaos yesterday and then government supporters hit and tore the clothes of opposition senator Johnston Muthama, who was seated in the public gallery. The ruckus was broadcast on national television.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged parliament to pass the proposed changes, saying they will strengthen security following a series of terrorist attacks blamed on the Somali Islamic extremist group al-Shabab.

Nine western governments, including the United States and Britain, have urged Kenyan legislators to respect human rights while enacting the proposed changes.