On World Press Freedom Day 2014, MLDI has petitioned the United Nations and African Union to address the arbitrary arrest and detention of nine Ethiopian bloggers, journalists and human rights defenders.
In April 2014, following thirteen years of on-off proceedings, the High Court of Botswana finally dismissed a libel case brought against journalist Methaetsile Leepile by a senior judge of Botswana’s High Court.
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”.
A coalition of 14 human rights NGOs and networks strongly condemns this week’s decision by an appeal court upholding a 30-month prison sentence for Vietnamese human rights lawyer and blogger Le Quoc Quan. Mr. Quan has been detained since December 2012.
Jailed Vietnamese blogger and human rights lawyer Le Quoc Quan has launched a hunger strike to protest the refusal to provide him access to legal counsel, access to legal and religious books, and access to a priest for spiritual guidance, ahead of his appeal trial on 18 February 2014 in Hanoi.
MLDI has led a coalition of 69 news organisations in urging the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights to formally review a judgment by one of the court’s lower chambers in a case concerning the extent to which news websites can be held liable for comments left by users.