freedom of expression

freedom of expression

  • SANEF to Engage ANC on Media Freedom

    The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) will request a meeting with the African National Congress (ANC) to have a ‘decent conversation’ about media freedom.

    SANEF chairperson, Mondli Makhanya, points out that, "There seems to be a huge gulf that has developed between the ANC and the media. We want to sit down with them and a have a decent conversation."

    Makhanya, who says there is no way SANEF will ever be open to the idea of such a tribunal, adds that, "A media tribunal will be unconstitutional and totally against media freedom."

    To read the article titled, “SANEF wants decent talk with ANC,” click here.
  • SANEF Rejects the Proposed Tribunal

    The South African National Editor’s Forum (SANEF) has expressed its ‘strong rejection’ of renewed proposals for a state-appointed tribunal and a growing slate of new legislation that is ‘hostile’ to the free flow of information to South Africans.

    In a statement following its annual general meeting in Johannesburg, SANEF points out that the proposed tribunal will go against the existing system of self-regulation which involves the media and members of the public, and will be unconstitutional.

    In addition, SANEF expressed its support for the Press Council Code of Conduct and encouraged editors to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to violations.

    To read the article titled, “SA editors reject ANC media tribunal proposal,” click here.
    Sunday Times
  • Zambia Challenged Over Freedom of Expression

    The special rapporteur on freedom of expression and access to information in Africa, Pansy Tlakula, has appealed to Zambia’s president to repeal a law used to convict and imprison Fred M’membe, the editor-in-chief of The Post.

    Tlakula, who is also South Africa’s chief electoral officer, says section 116 (1) (d) of the Zambia Penal code, which was used to convict M’membe, is incompatible with regional and international guarantees of freedom of expression.

    As a representative of the African Union, she urged the Zambian government to bring its laws in line with international standards and for President Rupiah Banda to pardon M’membe, who was sentenced this month to four months’ imprisonment with hard labour.

    To read the article titled, “Tlakula urges repeal of repressive Zambian law,” click here.
    Business Day
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  • Call to Abolish Draconian Media Laws

    NGOs from Africa have called upon the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) to urge member states to abolish repressive laws which continue to suppress freedom of expression.

    The African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights in Africa, executive director, Hannah Foster, maintained that, “The suppression of freedom of expression, opinion, assembly and the press is becoming the norm rather than the exception and therefore continues to be a cause for concern on our continent with the formulation of draconian laws, harassment, intimidation, killings and arbitrary detention.”

    The call by the NGOs comes against the backdrop of continued violations of human rights in countries such as Sudan, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Cameroon and Guinea Conakry, among others.

    Foster urged the Commission to take note of the resolutions by the NGOs and: “Pay particular attention to the situation in Angola, Burundi, Central Africa ...Zimbabwe and that they also.... request the African Commission to express solidarity with all journalists living under extreme persecution and to urge states to abolish repressive laws and to ensure a conducive environment for the protection of journalists in Africa.”

    To read the article titled, NGOs call for abolition of draconian media laws,” click here.
    Radio VOP
  • Malema’s Conduct Amounts to Censorship – SANEF

    The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) says the verbal attack by the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) president, Julius Malema, on British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) journalist, Jonah Fisher, amounts to censorship.

    In a press statement, SANEF states that, "It is totally unacceptable to treat a journalist that way for doing his job of asking a pointed question."

    SANEF’s media freedom committee chairperson, Thabo Leshilo, says the forum took strong exception to Fisher being sworn at ‘in an attempt to humiliate him’, adding that in light of this incident, journalists might in future have to decline invitations to press conferences of the ANCYL.

    To read the article titled, “SANEF condemns Malema's conduct,” click here .
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  • ANCYL Criticised for Harassing Journos

    The Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) director, William Bird, says journalists are not employed as public officials but are there to monitor those who are.

    Speaking at a SAFM discussion programme, the After Eight Debate, on the topic of this recent "harassment" of the media, Bird argued that, “The Press Council, Media Monitoring Africa, the Freedom of Expression Institute and various others" – are there in a watchdog role over journalists.

    Meanwhile, a mud-slinging campaign by the ANCYL against some South African journalists is set to continue with a threat to name at least one newspaper staff member the league claims has been bribed.

    To read the article titled, “ANCYL to expose 'corrupt' journos,” click here.
    Independent Online
  • Zimrights Director Arrested

    Zimrights National Director and board member of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, Okay Machisa, was arrested and later released by Harare police as reports of arrests of rights activists and Movement for Democratic Change supporters grow.

    The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum programmes Coordinator, Brian Penduka, states that Machisa was organising a photo exhibition entitled 'Reflections' at the Gallery Delta’.

    Penduka says that the exact charge is unclear but that the police have confiscated the photos that were to go on show. The exhibition included a wide range of photos taken during the violent 2008 election period, including pictures of the victims.

    To read the article titled, “Zimrights director arrested,” click here.
    All Africa
  • SANEF Slams Zuma Bodyguards

    Johannesburg - The South African National Editors' Forum (SANEF) has condemned the actions of President Jacob Zuma’s police bodyguards, who manhandled an Eyewitness News journalist.

    Eyewitness News reported that Tshepo Lesole was taking photographs of the president’s entourage as he arrived at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, when he was forced to delete the photographs.

    SANEF deputy chairperson, Raymond Louw, describes the incident as ‘outrageous’, adding that, “As SANEF, we are upset at this as we have recently complained to the police commissioner, police minister and deputy minister about the treatment of photographers and journalists.”

    To read the article titled, “Zuma bodyguards slammed,” click here.

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  • Malema Loses the ‘Hate Speech’ Case

    The Johannesburg Equality Court has found the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) president, Julius Malema, guilty of hate speech and harassment.

    Magistrate Colleen Collis ordered Malema to make an unconditional public apology within two weeks and pay an amount of R50 000 to a centre for abused women within one month, for saying president Jacob Zuma’s rape accuser had ‘nice time’.

    Meanwhile, Sonke Gender Justice, an organisation which took Malema to the Equality Court, has extended a hand of friendship to Malema outside court after the judgement.

    The organisation’s Mbuyiselo Botha, who expressed Sonke’s willingness to work with the ANCYL in addressing problems young people face in their lives, argues that, “We want him to say he apologises for the hurt and the pain he caused."

    To read the article titled, “Malema guilty of hate speech,” click here.
    Mail and Guardian
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  • FXI Calls for Protection of Confidential Sources

    The Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) has asked the South African Law Reform Commission to investigate amending section 205 of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA) to introduce a "shield law" to protect confidential journalistic sources and information.

    In a press statement, the organisation says the recent debacle over issuing subpoenas calling for two journalists to divulge their sources and confidential information highlighted the controversial point at which conflicting rights collide and the manner in which section 205 is abused.
    It argues that at the core of this conflict lay the question whether the public interest in compelling the journalist to reveal his or her source or confidential information clearly outweighed the public interest in the free flow of information.

    To read the article titled, “FXI wants better protection for confidential sources,” click here.

    <br /> Mail and Guardian
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