PEN SA Africa Pulse #11
14 Apr 2017
PEN SA Africa Pulse is a weekly round-up of news concerning cases of freedom of expression and the freedom of the press in Africa.
Tanzania’s president is trying to force the media to shut up, listen and be nice
The Tanzanian President John Magufuli is accused of suppressing the media. At the end of March, Magufuli fired information minister, Nape Nnauye, who had ordered an investigation into claims that a regional commissioner, Paul Makonda, who is a close allay of the President, had pressured a private media house to air the footage of a paternity case involving a member of an opposition party. After the sucking of Nnauye, President Magufuli, warned media houses to be careful and that they must not think that they can air whatever they please.
Somalia’s breakaway Somaliland sentences journalist to two years in jail
A reporter has been sentenced to two years in Somaliland. Abdimalik was was detained in February upon his return from the Somali capital and charged with “anti-national activity and violating the sovereignty and succession of Somaliland.”
An appeals court in Egypt hands journalists suspended jail sentence
An appeals court in Cairo has reduced the sentences of three journalists, from two years to one year. The journalists were arrested on the charge that they inciting street protests.
Egypt is becoming a scary environment for journalists
Freedom of the press continue to be under threat in Egypt. On 20 December 2016, Mahmoud Hussein was arrested and charged with “incitement against state institutions and broadcasting false news with the aim of spreading chaos”. Hussein is one of at least 26 journalists currently imprisoned. A new law that was signed by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in December spells out bad news for journalists in the country. The new media law will see the creation of Supreme Council for the Administration of the Media, a council that will have the authority to revoke press licences from foreign media and fine or suspend media organisations.
South African comedian John Vlismas on what the Hate Speech Bill means for comedians.
John Vlismas, a South African comedian, that more than others challenges what constitutes freedom of speech and hate speech in his routines, has written a piece about what the new law as outlined in the Hate Speech Bill mean for him and other comedians.