freedom of expression

Angola Urged to Free an Activist

Amnesty International has called on the Angolan authorities to drop the charge of ‘rebellion’ against human rights activist Jose Marcos Mavungo and immediately and unconditionally free him ahead of the court's final decision on his case on Monday.
 
In a press statement, the organisation points out that, “The trial against Jose Marcos Mavungo had nothing to do with justice. Instead it was designed to silence him and intimidate other human rights defenders in Angola.”
 

Human Rights Institute of South Africa: Campaigning Advocacy Officer

The Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA), Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) and People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA) have initiated a social media campaign, titled Her-Voice-Her-Peace-She-Matters to promote peace and security of women in Africa as provided in Article 10 & 11 of the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol).

Swazi Media Faces Restrictions

Swaziland’s Chief Justice, Michael Ramodibedi, threatens the managing editor of a major daily newspaper with immediate arrest if his paper continues to comment on the trial of another top newspaperman.
 
In addition, young activists were arrested and charged with treason at the trial of Makhubu and Maseko last month for showing solidarity and wearing T-shirts of the banned Peoples United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO).
 

SANEF Condemns Removal of Photos

The South African National Editors' Forum (SANEF) condemns the removal of photographs, showing the African National Congress (ANC) T-shirts being carried in a Gauteng traffic police vehicle, from a reporter's cellphone.
 
In a press statement, chairperson of SANEF, Mpumelelo Mkhabela, says that, "SANEF condemns the harassment of an eNCA journalist by a VIP policeman guarding President Jacob Zuma while he was pursuing his election campaign."
 

More Time Required to Fix Secrecy Bill

The Right2Know Campaign (R2K) says that Parliament's plans to review the Protection of State Information Bill (Secrecy Bill) in two days makes a mockery of its duty to correct the contentious draft law.
 
The lobby group says that President Jacob Zuma had rightly referred the official Secrecy Bill back to the National Assembly on advice that it is unconstitutional, but that the problems are too severe to be fixed by the deadline.
 

Two Newspapers Suspended in Tanzania

Tanzania government has suspended two leading Swahili-language daily newspapers on sedition charges, a move criticised by rights groups.
 
The privately-owned Mwananchi and MTanzania have been suspended for 14 and 90 days respectively for publishing hostile articles aimed at inciting people to lose confidence in state institutions.
 
The Committee to Protect Journalists said Tanzania often relies "on an arsenal of anti-media laws" that allows the information ministry "wide discretionary powers to ban" publications.
 

UNISA Slammed Over EFF Event

The cancellation of the formal event at which Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader, Julius Malema, was expected to speak, paints a worrying picture of political intolerance and a lack of regard for freedom of expression in South Africa.
 
Freedom of Expression Institute executive director, Phenyo Butale, says that cancelling an event that presented an opportunity for debate was tantamount to silencing participants in the discussion.
 

Call for Angola to Drop Charges Against Journo

A rights group, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on Angola to drop criminal defamation charges against an investigative journalist who wrote a book on human rights abuses in Angola's diamond-rich region.
 
The organisation states that Rafael Marques de Morais attended a hearing on 31 July 2013 for 10 new lawsuits that were brought against him, along with one pre-existing suit.
 

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