freedom of expression

freedom of expression

  • Govt Slammed for Barring Media

    The South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) has condemned the barring of journalists from the media gallery ahead of delivery of the State of the Province Address by Gauteng Premier, David Makhura.

    In a press statement, SANEF states that, “Journalists attending the event were told by legislature officials that the media gallery was occupied by VIP guests and that no reporters were allowed in the House during Makhura's delivery."

    It says that journalists were accommodated in a committee room, equipped with a television screen, on which they had to watch and listen to Makhura's address. "The microphones of certain MPLs were switched off when they rose on points of order and journalists couldn't hear what was said."

    To read the article titled, “SANEF condemns barring of media from Gauteng SOPA,” click here.

    Source: 
    SABC News
  • SANEF to Approach Courts Over Media Freedom

    The South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) has expressed its outrage at the illegal clampdown on freedom of expression during the State of the Nation address in Parliament on Thursday, 12 February 2015.
     
    The organisation states that it plans to approach the courts and seek a meeting with President Jacob Zuma and Speaker, Baleka Mbete, as soon as possible in order to prevent similar incidents in the future.
     
    In its quarterly national council meeting in Cape Town, the organisation argued that the installation of cellphone scrambling devices to block communication from inside Parliament was unprecedented and in contravention of the Electronic Communications Act.
     
    To read the article titled, “SANEF heads to court over violation of media freedom in Parliament,” click here.

    Source: 
    News 24
  • Electronic Communication Cut Ahead of SONA

    Electronic communication from parliament was cut for several hours ahead of President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation speech on 12 February 2014.

    A signal scrambler, said to belong to the military, was found in the press gallery at the National Assembly.

    The device prevented journalists - who chanted “Bring Back Our Signal” - MPs and the public from making cellphone calls or tweeting from the parliamentary precinct.

    To read the article titled, “Signal jammer gags House,” click here.

    Source: 
    Times Live
  • Call for Responsible Social Media Use

    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
  • NGOs Slam Attacks on Judge Masipa

    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
  • Swazi Govt Clamps Down on Free Speech

    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
  • Two Swazi Govt Critics Convicted

    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
  • Media Urged to Report the ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’

    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
  • Swaziland Releases Detained Editor, Lawyer

    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
  • Angola’s Rights Record a Concern

    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
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