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Wednesday, 1 February, 2017
Quote of the week
"When certain speech is criminalised, no one would dare open their mouths for fear that someone might take offence and report them to the authorities…"
- Freedom of Religion South Africa (FOR SA)
Comment of the week
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Free Speech, Privacy, Resources…
Earlier this week the first round for the submission of public comments on the proposed Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill closed.
If enacted this Bill threatens and criminalises Freedom of Speech as it is enshrined in the South African Constitution. Contraventions to this legislation could lead to severe penalisation in the form of long jail terms.
Civil society could face its biggest blow with NGOs and CSOs contributing to active engagement and critical analysis of government and its policies that could be easily misconstrued given the broad nature of the proposed legislation.
Although society should firmly guard against racist and hate speech, the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill goes far beyond that and imposes “authoritarian measures to clamp down on criticism and dissent,” writes Marianne Thamm.
The Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill will be served before Cabinet later this year before being introduced to Parliament.
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