A Kenyan court has suspended eight sections of a new law which the government says is meant to fight terror but which critics say will be used to crush dissent by curtailing civil liberties.

High Court Judge George Odunga said Friday that freedoms and inalienable rights cannot be limited under the pretext of fighting terrorism. He says he is suspending sections of the law until the chief justice sets up a three-man bench to determine the legality of the new law.

The punishment of three-year jail term or fine of $56,000 for journalists, whose reports are deemed to have undermined police investigations, is among the eight suspended clauses.