Blogger Robert Alai will be detained for 14 days after he highlighted the improper handling of dead police officers whose vehicle run over an Improvised Explosive Device, on his social media platforms. The police have stated that Mr Alai’s offence was the disclosure of information in relation to terrorist activities.
He might be the first blogger to be charged under the controversial anti-terrorism law that targets publishers of information, including journalists, media houses, publications, and bloggers. In court with him was a prison warder, Mr Patrick Safari, who allegedly also posted the photos on his Twitter account.
Section 27 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2012 provides that, “a person who publishes, distributes or otherwise avails information intending to directly or indirectly incite another person or a group of persons to carry out a terrorist act commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding thirty years.”
An Administration Police Inspector was also arrested for allegedly sharing information and photos of police officers killed in the Wajir attack with blogger Robert Alai.
According to the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU), investigations into the WhatsApp and Facebook accounts of Wilfred Kipkemei Maiyo – attached to Kahawa West AP Post – revealed that he had been sharing police operations and information with Alai.
This information, ATPU stated, included the photos of dead bodies of police officers in last week’s IED attack at Konton, Wajir County.
Section 19 of the same Act also provides that, “a person who, knowing or having reasonable cause to suspect that an officer is conducting an investigation under this Act, discloses to another person anything which is likely to prejudice the investigation, or interferes with material which is relevant to the investigation, commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twenty years.”
The suspect will now be charged jointly with Alai – who was on Wednesday arraigned – with the offence of disclosure of information in relation to terrorism activities contrary to section 19(a) of the Prevention of Terrorism act (P.O.T.A).