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Rafiki remains banned...

Kenyan high court upholds the film censor's violation of constitutional rights to freedom of expression


Link Here30th April 2020

Rafiki is a 2018 Kenya / South Africa drama by Wanuri Kahiu.
Starring Patricia Amira, Muthoni Gathecha and Jimmy Gathu. IMDb

Rafiki, which means friend in Swahili,  is adapted from the 2007 Caine Prize-winning short story, Jambula Tree, by Ugandan writer Monica Arac Nyeko. It follows two close friends, Kena and Ziki, who eventually fall in love despite their families being on opposing sides of the political divide.

Rafiki was banned by Kenya's moralist film censor in April 2018 for its gay themes. The film makers have been pursuing the censorship through the courts, on the grounds that Kenya's constitution includes the right to artistic freedom of expression.

But now the High Court of Kenya has upheld the violation of the film makers' rights to freedom of expression ruling that the film's ban:

Does not in any way violate Artistic Freedom of Expression, but instead protect the society from moral decay

Filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu expressed disappointment in the court's decision:

We are disappointed of course. But I strongly believe in the constitution and we are not going to give u. I think it is very important for us to define what freedom of expression means in Kenya as per our constitution. We are going to appeal. The ruling today is not a true reflection of what the constitution says.


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