PEN SA Africa Pulse #13
12 May 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.
Dr Stella Nyanzi is out on bail
Dr Stella Nyanzi has been granted bail. On April 10th 2017, Dr Nyanzi was charged with ‘cyber-harassment’ and she was subsequently arrested and imprisoned by the Uganda government for criticising President Yoweri Museveni and his wife, Janet Museveni. PEN SA made an urgent appeal to the Ugandan President to release Dr Nyanzi. Over the past few weeks PEN SA has been collecting signatures in support of Dr Nyanzi. The number of people who have signed up has now reached 120. Please make your voice heard and add your signature to the PEN SA’s letter support form here.
Silencing voices, suffocating debate
Max Price, UCT VC, makes the argument that shutting down anyone asking a question in a public debate goes against the core values of University of Cape Town. “I can’t see that this kind of racial silencing serves the cause of respectful listening and acknowledgment. Rude or violent behaviour rarely serves to change how people think about any particular issue; on the contrary, it polarises views and makes it harder to listen to one another”
Sudan’s silent conflicts – State Censorship in the War Zones
It is alleged that Sudan authorities are denying journalists access to the Jebel Marra region of Darfur, in which it is reported that as many as 250 people were killed and many others injured. None of these reports, as no journalists are allowed in the area, can be confirmed.
Independent Media launches Ombudsman Office
On 9 May 2017, Independent Media launched its internal Office of the Ombudsman with its own fully constituted adjudication and appeals panel. The launch followed the adoption of Independent Media’s Press Code. This is an important step in the press environment in which it has become more critical to abide strict press code.