rights

Activists Launches New Campaign to Counter Secrecy Bill

Rights campaigners have announced that they will mobilise poor communities in a revived campaign to prevent the African National Congress (ANC) from ramming the Protection of Information Bill through Parliament.

In a press statement, Right2Know campaign, points out that the ANC position on the Secrecy Bill has hardened.” As a result, its MPs have reneged on a number of concessions made in recent months to reduce the bill's powers.”

Plan to Establish Asylum Reception Centres

The Department of Home Affairs says plans are underway to establish asylum reception centres on the country's borders amid complaints that those close to business areas are a nuisance and irritating.

The department’s director-general, Mkuseli Apleni, states that this would also ensure that fewer foreigners entered the country.

The department was recently ordered to relocate a reception centre in Crown Mines, Johannesburg, after the business community went to court claiming the large presence of refugees rendered conditions intolerable for business.

SANEF Meets Govt Over Hammerl’s Death

The death of South African photo-journalist Anton Hammerl was the subject of a meeting between the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation and the South African National Editors' Forum (SANEF).
 
In a press statement, SANEF chairperson, Mondli Makhanya, points out that, Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Austrian Ambassador, Otto Ditz, briefed the SANEF delegation on efforts made to establish the whereabouts of Hammerl and to secure his release.
 

Call for Libya to Release Hammerl’s Body

Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Committee to Protect Journalists have called on Libya to release the body of slain South African photographer, Anton Hammerl, and investigate the role the armed forces played in his death.
 
HRW emergencies director, Peter Bouckaert, points out that, “Libyan government forces killed Anton Hammerl six weeks ago and then lied about what happened."
 
Bouckaert further says that they had his passport and they knew he was dead, adding that now they should at least release his body and provide some truthful answers about his fate.

SAHRC to Investigate ‘Open Toilets’ in Moqhaka

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is investigating why about 1 600 toilets in a Free State municipality have been left without enclosures for the past eight years.

SAHRC spokesperson, Vincent Moaga confirmed that a complaint has been laid with the Commission.

The toilets are located in Rammulotsi, near Viljoenskroon, in the ANC-run Moqhaka municipality.

Tell Mutharika to Respect Rights – OSISA

The Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) has asked the African Commission on Human and People's Rights (ACHPR) to tell Malawi President, Bingu wa Mutharika to respect human rights and various freedoms.

OSISA, which campaigns for freedoms and other rights in the region, says it had petitioned the 49th Ordinary Session of the Commission taking place in Gambia on this issue.

OSISA is quoted as saying that recent events in Malawi indicate that the country is fast sliding towards undemocratic rule.

NGO Condemns the Murder of Lesbian Activist

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) says that Noxolo Nogwaza, a 24-year old activist who was a member of the Ekurhuleni Pride Organising Committee, was stoned and stabbed to death as part of an ‘epidemic’ of hate crimes against gays.
 
In a press statement, the organisations states that evidence indicate Nogwaza was targeted because she was a lesbian, saying the murder "appears to be the latest in an epidemic of brutal homophobic attacks."
 

SAHRC writes to police ministry over brutality

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has written to the police ministry regarding the recent spate of cases of alleged brutality by police officers.

This letter follows after a number of cases of brutality by police officers have been reported in different parts of the country, including Tatane’s murder during a service delivery protest in the Free State.

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