freedom of expression

freedom of expression

  • 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
  • Swaziland’s Terrorism Law Criticised

    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
  • Free Speech Translates to Good Governance

    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
  • Censorship by South African Film and Publication Board

    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.

    Anton Harber
    Chair, Freedom of Expression Institute

     

  • Right2Know Campaign: National Coordinator

    Right2Know Campaign
    Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
    Opportunity closing date: 
    Friday, September 7, 2012
    Opportunity type: 
    Employment
    The Right2Know (R2K) Campaign is an umbrella group of organisations and activists mobilising and advocating for access to information and against secrecy in government and the private sector. R2K is best known for leading the civil society campaign on the Secrecy Bill, but its work has expanded to tackle broader issues relating to freedom of expression, media freedom and diversity and the free flow of information.

    R2K seeks to appoint a new National Coordinator, based in Cape Town.

    Responsibilities:
    • Coordinating a national advocacy strategy on freedom of expression/access to information issues;
    • Planning and coordinating events - from strategy conferences to street protests;
    • Budget management;
    • Coordinating fundraising;
    • Providing support and capacity building to R2K provincial structures;
    • Liaising with media representatives and acting as a spokesperson for the organisation;
    • Monitoring political events and legislative developments that affect the right to know.
    Requirements:
    • Deep personal commitment to the democratic principles of the R2K Campaign;
    • Strong leadership skills;
    • Excellent written/verbal communication;
    • Previous experience in an activist/campaigning environment;
    • Experience in fundraising and donor management is highly desirable;
    • Should be willing to work non-conventional office hours;
    • Ability to work in a fast-paced team environment is a necessity.
    Salary: R13 200.00 per month.

    To apply, please submit a CV and brief personal statement to Tinashe Njanji at admin@r2k.org.za.

    Please quote the source of this advertisement in your application - NGO Pulse Portal.

    Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

    R2K reserves the right not to make an appointment.

    For more about the Right2Know Campaign, refer to www.r2k.org.za.

    For other vacancies in the NGO sector, refer to www.ngopulse.org/vacancies.

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    Follow and support the 2012 SANGONeT "No Pain No Gain" fundraising and awareness-raising campaign. Refer to www.ngopulse.org/npng for more information and to make a donation.






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