On 6 February 2017 Justice John Mativo ruled that Section 194 of Kenya’s Penal Code, which creates the offence of criminal defamation,  violates the right to freedom of expression as guaranteed under Article 33 of the supreme law of the land. Jaqueline Okuta and Jackson Njeru, two individuals separately charged with criminal defamation...

10 March 2017

The Federation of African Journalists and three exiled Gambian reporters have filed a legal claim before the Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States to challenge the pervasive culture of persecution, violence, and injustice towards journalists in The Gambia. They argue that their right to freedom of expression has...

9 December 2015

A two-day conference held in Juba to mark International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (2 November), has recommended decriminalization of defamation as is contained in the South Sudan 2013 Media Authority Act. It also appealed to the government to speed up investigation of the seven journalists killed in South Sudan,...

9 December 2015

The Assembly of Delegates of PEN International, meeting at its 81st World Congress in Quebec, Canada, 13th to 17th October 2015 Despite the growing international consensus that criminal defamation infringes the fundamental right to freedom of expression as expressed by international and regional human rights bodies and mechanisms, prosecutions of journalists and other...

8 November 2015

The crusade against defamation, insult, false news and sedition laws across the African continent will be won with a mixture of both political and legal methods, delegates at a 19-20 September continental campaign meeting in Johannesburg agreed. At the Decriminalisation of Expression’s two-day meeting, activists from African and international organisations exchanged ideas on...

23 September 2015

Prominent Mozambican economist Carlos Nuno Castel-Branco told a Maputo court on 24 August that a Facebook post he wrote in November 2012 was intended as part of a political debate on the problems the country faced, and not an attack on the honour and dignity of the then president, Armando Guebuza. Castel-Branco is...

3 September 2015

On 21 August, stakeholders in Zimbabwe’s internet sector met at the National Internet Governance Conference hosted by MISA-Zimbabwe in Harare. The conference participants agreed on 14 guiding “principles and actions on internet governance in Zimbabwe.” The seventh principle emphasised the importance of decriminalising expression to enable information flow freely. According to a statement...

27 August 2015

Gabon’s Cabinet on Tuesday voted to decriminalise press offenses, in a decision that is a big milestone in the campaign against criminal defamation laws in Africa. The meeting that arrived at the decision was chaired by the central African nation’s president, Ali Bongo Ondimba. Gabon’s current penal code stipulates jail time and heavy...

14 August 2015

If journalists are the frontline in the battle to protect media freedom, then the last line of defense is perhaps the idealistic lawyers with the smarts to challenge restrictions by taking litigation beyond national courts through to regional and international structures. In early July, KAS Media Africa partnered with the Media Legal Defence...

5 August 2015

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) held yesterday, 9 July 2015, in Mogadishu a private lobby meeting with 32 Members of the Federal Parliament on the need to seriously reform the Media Law 2008 and further amend the current draft media law which was distributed to parliamentarians for debate, amendment and approval....

10 July 2015
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