Kenya Thursday joined the league of countries with repressive media laws in the world.

The passage of the Media Council Bill puts Kenya among the likes of Zimbabwe, Cuba, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran and Kuwait where media freedom is curtailed.

The Bill pulls back the gains the country has made in ensuring freedom of the Press which is crucial for democracy, transparency and accountability.

Freedom of the Press is vital for journalists to do their work without fear.

Sections of the Bill empower the Cabinet Secretary to dissolve the current Media Council, declare vacancies and then select the panel to interview candidates.

In many countries with draconian media laws, journalists have been jailed and cases against editors and reporters are many.

The International Federation of Journalists says journalists in countries with draconian laws work under the constant threat of jail.

Many of the countries permit the jailing of journalists for undermining the reputation of the state, the president, the monarch or the religion.

The laws are also used to suppress reporting of corruption or scrutiny of government actions.

In Yemen, Abdul-Karim al-Khaiwani was jailed for links with terrorists and then released on a presidential pardon in September following months of protests.

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