Misa condemns attacks on journalists

2014-12-11 06:05


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Johannesburg - The Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) on Wednesday condemned human rights violations against journalists in Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

"Misa condemns the human rights violations perpetrated against journalists... who were physically assaulted this year for doing their job and exercising their right to freedom of expression," it said in a statement.

Journalists had faced threats, verbal and physical assault, arbitrary detention and criminal charges in 2014.

In August, a senior radio producer of the state broadcaster Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) was assaulted in the corporation's building by a ruling Swapo party regional councillor.

In November an NBC television reporter and the accompanying cameraman were verbally attacked on two different occasions by members of two opposition parties.

"We urge governments to hold accountable the perpetrators" the institute, which is headquartered in Windhoek, said on Namibia's International Human Rights Day.

Misa remembered editor Bheki Makhubu and human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko who were imprisoned in Swaziland earlier in the year.

"Their continued incarceration is a travesty of justice and a clear indication that the notion of a constitutional democracy in Swaziland remains but a dream," said Modise Maphanyane, chairperson of Misa's regional governing council.

Misa was however encouraged by the Malawian government's adoption of a Policy on Access to Information (ATI), the Mozambique Parliamentary Assembly's approval of an ATI Bill last month and the recent High Court ruling in Zambia that found Section 67 (seditious intent) of the Penal Code unconstitutional.

Misa renewed its call on the governments of Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and Zambia to expedite the adoption of ATI laws in their countries.

"Human rights belong to everyone, and it is the duty of all of us to help protect them," Misa said.

Read more on:    misa  |  johannesburg  |  media  |  crime  |  southern africa

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