freedom of expression

Call to ‘Beat Up’ Mutharika’s Critics

Malawi President, Bingu wa Mutharika, has urged ruling party activists to beat up his critics in a call that has shocked civil society and religious leaders.
 
Speaking at a rally in Blantyre, Mutharika says party members must protect their father and discipline critics who insult him.

Mutharika, who ends his second five-year term in 2014, says he has been ‘patient for the last seven years from insults by critics’ and that it is the ruling party's duty to ‘beat up’ those who insulted him.
 

Call for Govt to Withdraw the Information Bill

Freedom of expression activists, Right2Know Campaign, has called on Parliament to withdraw the Protection of Information Bill and submit it to a second round of public consultation.
 
Right2Know Campaign says that the Secrecy Bill must be withdrawn and resubmitted to a process of public consultation.
 
It further argues that deputy speaker of Parliament, Nomaindia Mfeketo, contravened the rules of the legislature when she extended the lifespan of the ad hoc committee drafting the bill at the end of January.
 

Children Misrepresented in the Media

Children are ‘sick and tired’ of being portrayed negatively in the media and have urged the Press Council of South Africa to make amendments to its regulatory system.
 
Children from Park Senior Primary School, Johannesburg, one of the schools working with Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) as part of its Children’s Media Monitoring Project (CMMP), are of the view that the media focus on ‘bad’ stories and never published the ‘good’ ones.

SANEF Condemns Police Attacks on Photographers

The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) is calling on the police authorities to act on police officers who assault and illegally arrest journalists.

SANEF media freedom committee deputy chairperson, Raymond Louw, condemns an incident in which police attacked photographers while they were carrying out their duties in Bloemfontein and Pretoria respectively.

Anti-Gay Newspaper Lists More Gays

A Ugandan anti-gay newspaper has published pictures of 14 men it identified as gay, in a country where homosexuality is illegal and has even prompted calls for the death sentence.

The lead article in The Rolling Stone newspaper, which has no relation to the United States magazine, entitled ‘Men of shame part II’, pictured 14 men identified as the ‘generals’ of the gay movement in Uganda.

Newspaper Publishes Names of Top ‘100’ Gays

The front-page newspaper story featured a list of Uganda’s 100 ‘top’ homosexuals, with a bright yellow banner across it that read: ‘Hang Them’. Alongside their photos were the men’s names and addresses.

According to Julian Onziema, a rights activist, in the days since the story was published, at least four gay Ugandans on the list have been attacked and many others are in hiding.

Onziema states that one person named in the story had stones thrown at his house by neighbours.

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