criminal defamation

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Arguing the first free speech case at the African Court

Posted on: 
24 Mar 2014

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.

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Challenging the constitutionality of criminal defamation

Posted on: 
23 Oct 2014

Former journalist of the Sowetan, Cecil Motsepe, wrote a series of articles in 2009 about the allegedly racist conduct of judge Marius Serfontein. In one article, he wrote that Serfontein had given a white woman a lighter sentence than he had given a black man, despite the fact that both were convicted of the same crime. As the judgment was in Afrikaans, which Motsepe does not speak, he relied on the translation of the relevant parts by two people, one of whom was a court official.

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What happened next: Gunta Sloga, Latvia

Date: 
10 Sep 2014

"In the end, the politician who sued me was very unhappy because not only had he lost the case but the story had been retold over and over again in the press. My main victory – if you could call it that – is that he wasn’t re-elected to the European Parliament. I don’t think that’s 100 per cent down to my story but I do feel there’s at least one brick in the wall put there by me."

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Focus On: Criminal Libel in Azerbaijan

Date: 
13 Nov 2013

Council of Europe Ministers Urge Baku to Scrap Criminal Libel, expressing “grave concerns” after MLDI partner in Azerbaijan exposes lack of progress on reform pledge.

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African Court landmark ruling on criminal libel: Burkinabe journalist awarded compensation

Posted on: 
6 Jun 2016

on 3 June 2016, Burkinabe journalist Lohé Issa Konaté was awarded $70,000 in compensation for the harm he suffered as a result of his year-long detention for charges of criminal defamation.

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Explaining the Issues: Criminal Libel

Posted on: 
10 Oct 2013

Criminal libel laws date back to the middle ages but are in current use around the world. In many countries, journalists still face prison for doing no more than criticising someone in power

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African Court urged: “Stop use of criminal law to protect reputations”

Posted on: 
30 Sep 2013

MLDI has petitioned the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights to rule that imprisonment for defamation violates the right to freedom of expression and that the criminal law should not be used in disputes concerning reputation. The case concerns a journalist from Burkina Faso who is serving a prison sentence for defaming a public prosecutor.

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“Really good journalism is about changing what’s wrong with the world.”

Date: 
9 Mar 2016

In 2015, journalists Alan Morison and Chutima Sidasathian from the small news website Phuketwan faced the powerful Royal Thai Navy in court – and won. We caught up with them six months on.

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Landmark Victory Paving the Way for Press Freedom

Date: 
5 Nov 2015

"This decision will have positive implications for all my fellow journalists. It is a victory for the entire profession."

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