freedom of expression
freedom of expression
The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) urged the public to use social networking sites responsibly.
The call came after the commission resolved a case involving, Ziyaad Kayat, who made anti-semitic statements.
In a message sent to the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) Facebook page, Kayat, stated that, "All Jews are pigs and I think we should kill you SA Jews and kill your kids and let you feel what the Palestinians are feeling."
The SAJBD laid a complaint with the SAHRC which found that Kayat's comments were in contravention of, among other laws, Section 16 of the South African Constitution.
To read the article titled, “SAHRC calls for responsible use of social media after man calls for SA Jews to be killed,” click here.Source:Times Live
Several legal organisations say they are concerned by the threats and personal attacks directed at Judge Thokozile Masipa, who presided over the trial of blade runner, Oscar Pistorius.
The Legal Resources Centre, SECTION27, and the Centre for Child Law state that the wave of criticism directed at Masipa personally in relation to her judgment had resulted in her requiring police protection.
In a press statement, they argue that some of the remarks may even border on hate speech, defamation and contempt of court, adding that, “These comments allege that Judge Masipa is corrupt, and/or that her gender and/or race rendered her incompetent in appropriately applying the law to the evidence presented.”
To read the article titled, “Legal groups slam attacks on Masipa,” click here.Source:IOL News
The Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) expresses its deepest concern at reports from Swaziland that Vincent Ncongwane, secretary general of the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA), was prevented from speaking at a gathering.
Ncongwane, who returned from the United States (US) where he attended a civil society meeting held to coincide with the US-Africa Summit hosted by US President Barack Obama, was due to address the gathering on the outcomes of this visit.
SALC's executive director, Nicole Fritz states that, "The Swazi government is clearly angered that representatives of civil society dared speak out about the withdrawal of Swaziland's eligibility under the American African Growth and Opportunities Act” adding that, "It is distressing, but not surprising, that this now leads the authorities to actively prevent individuals who disagree with the official position from expressing their views."
To read the article titled, “Continuing clamp down on free speech in Swaziland,” click here.Source:All Africa
A lawyer in Swaziland says two government critics there have been found guilty of contempt of court in a case that focused attention on human rights in the landlocked African kingdom.
Sipho Gumedze, a human rights lawyer, says that the two critics - a lawyer and a magazine editor - are considering an appeal.
Lawyer, Thulani Maseko, and Bheki Makhubu, editor of Swaziland's The Nation magazine, have been charged after publishing articles in which they lamented alleged threats to judicial independence.
To read the article titled, “Two Swazi critics convicted,” click here.Source:News 24
Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, says the media has a responsibility to report on progress as well as government’s failures.
Ramaphosa told the South African National Editor’s Forum (SANEF) to tell the stories that are good and also those that are difficult, painful and troublesome.
Ramaphosa called on the media to give expression to the struggles and successes of ordinary South Africans and the effects of government policies on their lives.
To read the article titled, “Report on the good and the bad – Ramaphosa,” click here.Source:The Citizen
A Swaziland editor and a rights lawyer who were arrested over an article said to be in contempt of court were freed on Sunday after a judge nullified their arrest.
Judge Mumcy Dlamini rejected a warrant of arrest for Bheki Makhubu, the editor of the Nation magazine, and lawyer Thulani Maseko, who is a columnist at the magazine, saying it is not in line with the law.
Makhubu and Maseko were arrested on 18 March 2014, after the independent magazine published a report questioning the detention of a government vehicle inspector who was detained for a week without being charged.
To read the article the article titled, “Swaziland editor, lawyer released from prison,” click here.Source:Mail and Guardian
The Human Rights Watch's (HRW) has found that very little is going right for the vast majority of the Angola’s population, including the government’s failure to use the oil windfall to fund socio-economic development.
The organisation’s annual World Report 2013 states that the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola-led government has intensified repressive measures to restrict freedom of expression, association, and assembly in 2013.
The report further states that, "The government has pursued numerous criminal defamation lawsuits against outspoken journalists and activists, while continuing to use police abuse, arbitrary arrests, and intimidation to prevent peaceful anti-government protests, strikes, and other gatherings from taking place.”
To read the article titled, “Nation's dire human rights situation,” click here.Source:All Africa
Rights groups in Swaziland have called for the amendment of a terrorism law they view is aimed at silencing opposition.
According to Voice of America, an external broadcasting institution of the United States, activists expressed concern over the 15 arrests made under the Suppression of Terrorism Act in the last two months, with detainees being beaten up and given death threats.
The groups believe there is a need to amend the act in order to open up freedom of expression.
To read the article titled, “Swazi activists decry terrorism law - report,” click here.Source:News 24
A report, released by the Afrobarometer, has indicated that the more freely Africans can speak their minds, the more confident they are in the performance of their governments.
The report found that half of Africans surveyed in 34 countries across the continent say they are ‘completely free’ to say what they think, while another quarter say they are ‘somewhat free’.
"Freedom of expression is also consistently linked to better ratings of government performance, especially with respect to government effectiveness in fighting corruption, but also in other sectors such as maintaining roads and managing the economy,” it states.
To read the article titled, “Free speech equals better governance, says report,” click here.Source:All Africa
The Film and Publication Board's rigid and simplistic interpretation of the law seems to mean that even a film that exposes and opposes child abuse might be banned. We are in a Catch-22 situation: we want to discuss whether this film promotes or helps prevent abuse, but we are prevented from seeing it to decide that. We are expected to simply trust the Board and, given our history of the abuse of censorship powers, that is not going to happen.
If the organisers of a reputable film festival deemed it worthy to open their proceedings, then there is an argument for the merits of this film. But that is an argument we cannot have, unless the Board allows us. It is vital that the Board's ham-handed decision be challenged, and they be made to show that this film is so dangerous and harmful that it cannot even be shown before the limited audience of a film festival.
We have to deal with and confront issues of child abuse, not hide from them. The danger is that a ham-handed and conservative Board might impose its own predilections on the nation and try and sweep this kind of film under the carpet.
Chair, Freedom of Expression Institute