Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Hate Speech?

This is the use of threatening, inciting, abusive or insulting words or behavior, or display of any written material with the intention of stirring up ethnic hatred. The Penalty is a fine not exceeding one million shillings or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or both.

Hate speech propagation is one of the main reasons why freedom of speech and expression should be regulated and in some instances restricted. Its intense ramifications not only affect the living generation but the scars left by its effect are felt by future generations.

2. What is ethnic hatred?

Hatred against a group of persons defined by reference to color, race nationality or ethnic or national origins.

3. What is the difference between insults and hate speech?

For words to amount to hate speech, they must adhere to the following two determinants.

First, they must 'maintain a sphere of operation that is not restricted to the moment of the utterance itself', i.e., that the said words must express or imply a built-in call to action.

Second, and arising from the first dynamic, hate speech is constructed in the context of inter-group relations. A statement which would otherwise be totally innocuous in a mono-ethnic situation may turn into hate speech when used in an inter-ethnic setting.

4.    What is a complaint?

It is a written expression of displeasure and dissatisfaction over discriminatory treatment that sets out reasons and circumstances that the complainant believes offer sufficient ground to support their claim against another person, persons or entity. The basis of the action in question must be ethnic, racial or religious.

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