On 20 and 21 March, we argued the first freedom of expression case before the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Arusha, Tanzania. The case addresses a number of important issues regarding free speech, including the compatibility of criminal sanctions with the right to freedom of expression as protected by Article 9 of the African Charter.
This week, the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights will hear its first freedom of expression case. Brought by MLDI, it concerns the case of Lohé Issa Konaté, a journalist from Burkina Faso who served a 12 month prison sentence, was fined the equivalent of 18 annual average wages and whose newspaper was shut down for insulting and defaming a local prosecutor.
The Mayor of Riga, Nils Usakovs, has lost his libel case against the Latvian weekly, IR. The case had been brought in 2012 in response to a comment by IR journalist, Aivars Ozoliņš, that the Riga City Council was a “kleptocracy”.