Human Rights

In DR Congo, will new legislation protect citizens’ digital rights?

Providence Baraka |

This article is part of UPROAR, a Small Media initiative that is urging governments to address digital rights challenges at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). 

In the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where armed conflict has gripped the region for decades, rebel groups often use kidnappings to secure ransoms in their bid for power in the region.

According to LUCHA, a nonviolent, nonpartisan citizen movement,…

New Technologies Must Serve, Not Hinder, Right to Peaceful Protest, Bachelet Tells States

By the United Nations Human Rights |
GENEVA (25 June 2020) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Thursday called on States and businesses to ensure that new technologies, including facial recognition and so-called ‘less-lethal weapons,’ are developed and used in ways that do not disrupt and prevent people’s ability to exercise their fundamental rights to peaceful assembly and…

ECOWAS Court upholds digital rights, rules 2017 internet shutdowns in Togo illegal

By Access Now |

June 25, 2020 — Today, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Community Court of Justice ruled that the September 2017 internet shutdown ordered by the Togolese government during protests is illegal and an affront to the applicants’ right to freedom of expression. The court ordered the government of Togo to pay two million CAF to the plaintiffs…

CIPESA Submission to UN Special Rapporteur Spotlights Rights Concerns in Africa’s Covid-19 Response

By Daniel Mwesigwa |

Many African governments have employed heavy-handed methods in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. These measures, both offline and online, have undermined various rights and there are fears that they might be entrenched after the pandemic subsides.

In response, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Association and Assembly  has  issued detailed key principles which governments and law enforcement agencies…

Joint Civil Society Statement: States Use of Digital Surveillance Technologies to Fight Pandemic Must Respect Human Rights

Joint Statement |

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global public health emergency that requires a coordinated and large-scale response by governments worldwide. However, States’ efforts to contain the virus must not be used as a cover to usher in a new era of greatly expanded systems of invasive digital surveillance.

We, the undersigned organizations, urge governments to show leadership in tackling the…

An Attempt to Gag the Media’: Journalists on Nigeria’s Proposed Social Media Bill

By Jonathan Rozen

At a public hearing on Nigeria’s social media bill held in Abuja last monththe voice of Chris Isiguzo, president of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), rang clearly across the room: “This bill…seeks to pigeonhole Nigerians from freely expressing themselves.” The NUJ is “totally opposed” to it, he said.

This strong opposition was echoed by multiple other civil society…

Covid-19 in Africa: When is Surveillance Necessary and Proportionate?

By CIPESA staff |

As the world grapples to contain the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the role of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to enhance disease surveillance, coordinate response mechanisms, and promote public awareness has become more significant. This role of digital technologies is particularly crucial in sub-Saharan Africa where systemic vulnerabilities such as weak health systems and high levels of…

Huawei Says Its Surveillance Tech Will Keep African Cities Safe But Activists Worry It’ll Be Misused

By Samuel Woodhams |
In Europe and the US, tense debates have broken out over the national security ramifications of allowing Huawei to be involved in the construction of new 5G networks.
The UK has approved a limited role for the Shenzhen, China-based company in its upcoming wireless infrastructure despite sustained pressure from the US to exclude them. Part of the challenge is…

African Human Rights Commission Denounces Stringent Internet Regulation in East Africa

By Daniel Mwesigwa and Edrine Wanyama |

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) has denounced moves by countries in East Africa to slap stringent regulations on internet access and use. The commission’s Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa, Lawrence Mute, and the Country Rapporteur responsible for monitoring the human rights situation in Kenya and Tanzania,…

Oral Statement Delivered At The United Nations Human Rights Council

Joint Statement |
 

Thank you, Mr. President.

This statement is delivered on behalf of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), Derechos Digitales, and the Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET).

As organisations committed to maintaining the use of the internet for human rights, social justice and sustainable development, we are concerned about…