Freedom of expression

BAKE condemns the shutdown of TV stations & Threats to Media Freedoms

The Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) is alarmed by the blatant disregard of the law, draconian practices, respect for media freedoms and freedom of expression in the country by the Kenyan Government. In moves that return the country to the dark past, the government is enhancing regressive practices that infringe on fundamental right of Kenyans.

Allegations that the President and his…

Chad restores internet access after shutdown

News Update|

Internet access has been restored in Chad after the government ordered a shutdown in response to national protest action backed by trade unions and civil society organisations using social media. The organisation Internet Without Borders said shutting down the internet has become a classic security tactic adopted by the Chadian government.

“By cutting internet access, the Chadian government is violating human rights and…

Strategic Litigation, an Answer to Preventing Internet Shutdowns?

The 2017 Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa (#FIFAfrica17) was a great platform to learn more about the issues plaguing the African Internet space. The event was also a super platform to interact with some of Africa’s sharpest Internet activists and explore opportunities for collaborative interventions for advancing internet freedom on the continent.

From the Strategic Digital Rights Litigation training workshop,…

Zimbabwe government clarifies Cyber Security Bill

The Ministry of Information Communication Technology (ICT), Postal and Courier Services says the Cyber Crime and Cyber Security Bill is a comprehensive legislation that is expected to address abuse of social media in Zimbabwe.

The bill, which came as a result of wider consultations, provides for criminalisation of abuse of the social media.

“This bill is a solution to the growing abuse…

Universal Periodic Review: Civic Groups Urge Burundi to Respect Free Expression

By Edrine Wanyama and Kesa Pharatlhatlhe |

The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) alongside Article 19, the East Africa Law Society, the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU) and DefendDefenders have called for repeal of Burundi’s Penal Code and the 2015 Press Law to address provisions that undermine freedom of expression. In a submission to the…

Major Boost for Free Expression as President Sirleaf Submits Anti-Criminal Libel Bill to Parliament

In a major act of statesmanship before leaving power at the end of the year, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia on July 20, 2017, submitted to Parliament a bill to decriminalize press offenses, particularly, libel.

Titled “An Act to Amend the Liberian Codes Revised, Penal Law of 1978,” the bill is expected to be considered by the legislature and passed…

18 NGOs File an Intervention Before France’s Highest Court on Dangers of The ‘Right to Be Forgotten’

News Update|
Today, 18 expert non-governmental organisations from across the world have filed legal submissions before France’s highest court, the Council of State (Conseil d’État), raising serious concerns about a ruling of France’s data protection authority, la Commission nationale informatique et libertés (“CNIL”), on the “right to be forgotten”.
In 2014, CNIL ordered Google to remove 21 links from the results of an internet…

Kenyan Court Knocks Down Criminal Defamation, Safeguards Freedom of Expression

By Nani Jansen Reventlow and Catherine Anite |

Efforts to create more space for free expression in Africa have been strengthened by the Kenyan Judiciary. In the case of Jacqueline Okuta & Anor vs. AG & Others, the High Court of Kenya on 6 of February 2017 annulled section 194 of the Penal Code that provides for the offence of criminal…

Kenya: Win for Whistleblowers, Media as MPs approve Access to Information Bill

By Alphonce Shiundu |

The National Assembly Thursday approved the Access to Information Bill which allows the public to seek for any information from government, and obligates public servants to make sure they provide that information, or risk hefty fines or jail terms.

If the government refuses to grant the information, or hides some of the information through redaction or if the…

Hunting Down Social Media ‘Abusers’ in Uganda as Elections Near

By CIPESA Staff |

As Uganda draws closer to the February 2016 presidential elections, the fever of anxiety in government corridors is rising. Over the years, election periods have seen a crackdown on social media, voices critical of the ruling party, and independent media in the guise of promoting public order and unity as well as preventing the spread of false information. This, however,…