World’s media chiefs press African leaders on freedoms

22 April 2014 – 11:49am | By RNW Africa Desk

Editors and publishers from across the world have singled out the governments of Egypt, Ethiopia, South Africa and Swaziland for threatening free expression and media freedom.

As published by our partner AllAfrica

At a meeting in Cape Town, South Africa this week, the general assembly of the International Press Institute(IPI) – a global network of editors, media executives and journalists – adopted resolutions which called on:

  • The Ethiopian government to stop arresting journalists under anti-terrorism laws and to review its anti-terror statutes to protect freedom of the press;
  • The Swazi government to release unconditionally the editor of The Nation, Bhekitemba Makhubu, and human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko, who have been arrested, released and re-arrested by a succession of judges, some with personal interests in their case, in recent weeks;
  • The Egyptian government to end arrests of journalists under anti-terrorism laws; and
  • South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma to submit a new secrecy law for court review.

The assembly also called on the South African government to explain why it placed obstacles in the way of African, Eastern European and Russian IPI members when they applied for visas for the IPI’s World Congress.

In its resolution on Ethiopia, the IPI said that the use of anti-terrorism laws against journalists had “fuelled a sense of fear among media workers, both foreign and domestic.”

At least six journalists had been jailed under the 2009 anti-terror law, it added, “some of whom are in failing health and have had restricted access to lawyers, friends and colleagues.”

“The government must ensure that journalists are allowed to report on national security, unrest and dissenting politics without fear of arbitrary arrest, harassment or intimidation under laws intended to prevent attacks or prosecute terrorists seeking to do physical harm.”

Read the full article on AllAfrica

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Posted by on April 22, 2014. Filed under NEWS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.