Kenya’s High Court declares criminal defamation unconstitutional

ARTICLE 19 welcomes the decision today by Kenya's High Court declaring Section 194 of the Penal Code, which creates the offence of criminal defamation, unconstitutional. ARTICLE 19, alongside Jaqueline Okuta and Jackson Njeru, petitioned the High Court in Nairobi that the provision was a disproportionate and unjustifiable limitation of freedom of expression. Jaqueline and Jackson had been charged under the section for publishing posts about a prominent Kenyan lawyer on a consumer protection Facebook page called 'Buyer Beware'. Jackson is an administrator of the page. Justice JM Mativo declared that Section 194 of…Read more

Zambia moves forward with Access to Information bill

MISA MISA Zambia welcomes the pronouncement by Justice Minister Given Lubinda at the 2017 Universal Periodic Review that the Access to Information bill is ready and that the government is working on systems that will readily avail the information to the public. The enactment of the ATI bill is long overdue as it has stalled since 2002 when it was presented to parliament, with successive governments-including the PF government in 2011, making vain promises which have not come to fruition. The announcement made by the Justice Minister is a positive step and MISA…Read more

Investigatory Powers Bill passed by UK Parliament

Society of Editors (UK) The House of Lords has voted to pass the Investigatory Powers Bill (IP) meaning that the legislation is now likely to be implemented within weeks. The Bill, which was passed earlier this week by the House of Commons without proposed amendments relating to costs orders in phone hacking cases, replaces the widely discredited Regulation of Investigatory Powers Bill (RIPA). The Society of Editors, alongside other media organisations, had opposed the use of RIPA by police officers to access the communications data of journalists and their sources. Although the government…Read more

UK Government extends protections for journalists’ sources in IP Bill

Society of Editors The UK Government has extended protections for journalists and their sources to the Investigatory Powers Bill. The Bill, currently in the House of Lords for its third reading, has been widely criticised by the Society of Editors and other media organisations for its failure to protect journalistic material. The amendments will now see protections for journalists’ sources apply across the bill rather than just to applications to view telecoms records as was the case in previous drafts. The government has so far refused to allow prior notficiation to media organisations of…Read more