PEN SA Africa Pulse #14
26 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.
Flemming Rose says Freedom of Speech should be protected
Flemming Rose, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington D.C., was in South Africa at the invitation from the Institute of Race Relations. In an interview with the SABC, Rose said that “Freedom of speech should be protected not incite violence”. When UCT disinvited Flemming Rose from delivering the annual TB Davie lecture on academic freedom, PEN SA was at the forefront of hosting dialogue consisting of varying voices.
Investigative radio reporter arrested in Madagascar
An investigative reporter for Radio Jupiter, Fernand Cello, was arrested on 6 May in Antananarivo, the capital city of Madagascar. Cello had only emerged recently after four months in hiding following his expose of the existence of an illegal sapphire mine in Ilakaka, a town in the south western part of Madagascar. The charges brought against him include “defamation”, “spreading false news”, “inciting hatred” and “endangering state security”.
Reporters Without Borders
Crackdown on civil society persists in Egypt
Independent civil society and rights organisations in Egypt are under ongoing crackdown. Over the past week, summons have been issued to human rights defenders and former staff of rights organisations.
Nadine Gordimer not one to mince words, says Bizos
George Bizos delivered the Nadine Gordimer lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand, in which he pointed out that Gordimer did not mince her words. Bizos said that Gordimer hated censorship because her writing was her struggle against racism and injustice.
Nigerian blogger still in prison, one month after being granted bail
The Committee to Protect Journalists has written a letter to the Nigerian government, demanding the immediately release of the Nigerian blogger Kemi Omololu-Olunloyo, in accordance with two court orders granting her bail. Omololu-Olunloyo, who runs the blog HNN Africa, has been jailed for 69 days, despite two court orders for her release on bail.
Committee to Protect Journalists
Outrage in Zimbabwe as Bona Mugabe to the new Censorship Board
The appointment of President Robert Mugabe’s daughter Bona Mugabe-Chikore to the new Censorship Board has been met with skepticism. Arts activists in Zimbabwe are calling the move a “disaster” meant to “suppress information”.