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Health Exposé ‘Would Be A Crime’ Under Info Bill

The decision last week by activists to publicise confidential government reports on provincial health departments will have been a crime if the proposed Protection of Information Bill were in force, according to Nathan Geffen, a researcher for Section 27, which leaked the reports with the Rural Health Advocacy Project.

Director of the Institute for Security Studies’ Cape Town office, Hennie van Vuuren, points out that Nathan and all his colleagues would be in jail if the information Bill was in place.

Amnesty Slams Rwanda’s Genocide Laws

Amnesty International has blasted Rwanda's laws on genocide ideology, which it says are being used to suppress political dissent.

Africa Programme director at Amnesty International, Erwin van der Borght, points out that, "The ambiguity of the ‘genocide ideology’ and ‘sectarianism’ law means Rwandans live in fear of being punished for saying the wrong thing."

NGO Slams Cabinet Over Zim Immigrants

According to People Against Suffering, Suppression, Oppression and Poverty (PASSOP) a NGO committed to the promotion and protection of the rights of refugees and asylum seekers in South Africa, Cabinet's decision to resume deportations of Zimbabweans is tantamount to a death sentence.

In a press statement, PASSOP says that it hopes to meet with the Department of Home Affairs to discuss its unhappiness with the plan and to ensure that the rights of Zimbabweans are protected.

UN to Focus on Mozambique Riots

The United Nations has called an urgent meeting on rising global food prices in an attempt to head off a repeat of the 2008 crisis that sparked riots around the world.

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) spokesperson, Christopher Matthews "The purpose of holding the meeting is for exporting and importing countries to engage in constructive discussions on appropriate reactions to the current market situation."

SA, Zim, to Meet Over Immigrants

The Department of Home Affairs has announced that an urgent meeting to discuss the documentation of Zimbabwean immigrants living in South Africa, has been planned for this week.

The department’s spokesperson, Ronnie Mamoepa, points out that, “...there had been a great deal of distortion and misinformation particularly from NGO's and so-called immigration expert, aimed at sowing confusion among Zimbabweans in the country.”

SAHRC Calls on Zuma to Intervene in the Strike

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has called on President Jacob Zuma to intervene in the wage talks with public sector unions.

SAHRC spokesperson, Vincent Moaga, says the commission is of the view that intervention from the highest level is needed to, bring an end to the strike.

Moaga further says that the Commission is concerned about the negative impact a prolonged strike has on the right to schooling and access to healthcare.

Call for SADC to Monitor Zim Elections

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition has urged the Southern African Development Committee (SADC) to supervise Zimbabwe’s next elections.

The organisation says there is need for SADC to monitor the next elections in order to stop violence, which has characterised previous elections.

It is also of the view that if the elections are not monitored, Mugabe will use the same violent tactics that he has been using since the year 2000 to stay in power.

NGOs ‘Friends of Court’ in Defamation Case

Two NGOs have been admitted as friends of the court in the defamation case involving three former schoolboys found to have defamed their deputy headmaster.

The Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) says the Supreme Court of Appeal’s judgment is likely to have an unjustified chilling effect on the right of children to critical, and particularly satirical, expression.

Cabinet to Meet SANEF Over Media Freedom

Government spokesperson, Themba Maseko, says that Cabinet has re-affirmed its commitment to meet with the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) to discuss what he calls ‘the perception that government is bent on muzzling the media’.

Maseko says at that meeting, government will confirm the fact that there is neither a plan nor an intention on its part to limit media freedom because muzzling the media will be contrary to the principle of freedom of speech that is enshrined in the Constitution.

Banda Congratulated Over SADC Election

A civil society organisation and the church have hailed Zambian President, Rupiah Banda, over his election as chairperson for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on politics, defence and security cooperation.

The Southern African Center for Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD), the Independent Churches of Zambia (ICOZ) the Bishops Council of Zambia in separate interviews, commended Banda over his election.

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