Freedom of expression

Will Our Human Rights and Freedoms and a Free and Open Internet be the Next Victims of Cybercrime?

Manifesto Launch |

The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) has joined civil society organisations and industry in a rally against the potential threat of cybercrime on human rights and freedoms as well as the open internet.

Day-by-day the effects of cybercrime continue to get worse. Although something clearly needs to be done, there is growing concern…

Mapping Digital Rights and Online Freedom of Expression Litigation in East, West and Southern Africa

By Wendy Trott |

Access the new report on digital rights litigation prepared for Media Defence.
The report provides an overview of the legislative and jurisprudential developments in three regions of Africa in seven key areas of digital rights and highlights key opportunities for future litigation in the regions.

Overview

As the use of technology has continued apace in recent years, so have the opportunities and risks to…

Mauritius’ Social Media Regulation Proposal Centres State-Led Censorship

By Daniel Mwesigwa |

In Sub-Saharan Africa, Mauritius leads in many aspects. It is the only country on the continent categorised as a “full democracy” by the Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy Index for 2020. Additionally, it has the second highest per capita income (USD 11,099) and one of the highest internet penetration rates in the region (72.2%).

However, the recently published consultation…

Gagging Free Speech by Computer Misuse Act, Films and Stage Plays Act – Part 1

By Mugambi Kiai, Gakii Winfred and Sigi W |

Authorities are deploying tyrannical practices to stifle public commentary on social and political issues, with wanton impunity. This is a frontal and brutal assault on the Constitution and an egregious violation of the social contract between the state and citizens.
“If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of…

Young and Having Harmless Fun: Egypt Must Drop Charges Against Women TikTok Influencers

By AccessNow |

Amplifying its clampdown on freedom of expression online, the Egyptian government is on a campaign to arrest and prosecute women influencers on the emerging social media platform TikTok for violating “the values of the Egyptian family” and “inciting debauchery and immorality.”

The crackdown on TikTok influencers in Egypt began on 23 April 2020 with the arrest of 20-year-old student Haneen Hossam, for…

Coalition of Civil Society Groups Launches Tool to Track Responses to Disinformation in Sub Saharan Africa

Press Release |

Today, Global Partners Digital (GPD), ARTICLE 19, the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), PROTEGE QV and  the Centre for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria jointly launched an interactive map to track and analyse disinformation laws, policies and patterns of enforcement across Sub-Saharan Africa.

The map offers a birds-eye view of trends in state responses…

Ethiopia’s Hate Speech and Disinformation Law: The Pros, the Cons, and a Mystery

By Berhan Taye  |

The change in government in Ethiopia has garnered people unprecedented civil and political liberties. In previous years, when the press and broadcast media were censored, social media gave Ethiopians, like many around the world, the autonomy to speak, organize, mobilize, and challenge the government’s narrative. However, amidst all of these changes, one thing has remained the same: authorities are still challenging the…

How can something so right be so wrong? Right to Information legislation is failing women in Africa

By Reyhana Masters |
In her contribution to IFEX’s series marking International Women’s Day, Regional Editor Reyhana Masters looks at how women are disadvantaged when it comes to accessing public information.
Access to information is considered essential to the right of freedom of expression in the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa. Right…

Stakeholder Submission to the UN Human Rights Council on Digital Rights in The Gambia

By Ashnah Kalemera |

In November 2019, The Gambia will be coming up for its third cycle review under the United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism. Former President Yahya Jammeh, before his ouster in 2017, was renowned for his utter disregard for constitutional rights, once stating publicly that he would “not compromise or sacrifice the peace, security, stability, dignity, and the well-being of…

High Court Sets aside Internet Shutdown Directives

Zimbabwe News Update |

High Court judge Justice Owen Tagu on 21 January 2019 ruled that the Minister of State in the President’s Office Responsible for National Security does not have the authority to issue any directives in terms of the Interception of Communications Act.

This means that the directives issued by Minister Owen Ncube to shut down the Internet in Zimbabwe…