Freedom of Expression

SALC’s Freedom of Expression work is integrated within its other programmatic areas and focuses on the following objectives:

  • To deepen the understanding of and litigate on freedom of expression, association and assembly and access to information issues that affect various SALC focus areas.
  • To conduct advocacy and litigation around the decriminalisation of expression, with a focus on challenging criminal defamation, sedition, and terrorism legislation which infringes on freedom of expression.
  • To support litigation which challenges infringements of the right form associations and to protest.
  • To support the criminal defence of journalists and human rights defenders who are persecuted for their views.


On-going cases:

Swaziland: Case challenging the constitutionality of the Sedition and Subversive Activities Act.
Swaziland: Case challenging the constitutionality of the Suppression of Terrorism Act.
Lesotho: Case challenging the offence of criminal defamation.
Botswana: Case challenging refusal to provide access to information. Updates coming soon.
Botswana: Amicus curiae application of MISA Botswana to challenge a provision in corruption legislation which criminalises publication of information. Updates coming soon.
Zimbabwe: Case challenging the refusal to allow sex workers to march. Updates coming soon.

Precedent cases:

Zimbabwe: Support amicus curiae in case confirming that criminal defamation no longer an offence in Zimbabwe.
Botswana: Case challenging the refusal to register an LGBT organisation.
Swaziland: Supporting lawyer and editor charged with contempt of court.
Zambia: Support activist’s right to freedom of expression.


28 Jan 2019 Staff Writer
News Release: Stolen election in the DRC does not bode well for peace and securi...

The Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) is deeply concerned for ongoing peace and stability in the DRC following massive election fraud and a questionable decision from the Constitutional Court. Despite the 2018 elections being the first to lead to a…

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25 Jan 2019 Staff Writer
News Release: International Crimes being committed in Zimbabwe...

The Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) is concerned with reports of serious human rights violations and commission of atrocities by the police forces, government armed forces and ZANU PF members in Zimbabwe since Monday 14 January. Following country wide protests…

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23 Jan 2019 Staff Writer
Media Advisory: Malawi High court to hear case on Freedom of Expression...

Lilongwe, Malawi – On Monday 28 January 2019, the Malawi High Court will hear the case of a female Human Rights Defender who was arrested and detained by the Police for holding a poster deemed to be offensive whilst attending a…

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23 Jan 2019 Tambudzai Gonese
Protecting right to freedom of expression for Woman Human Rights Defenders...

SALC is supporting the Women Lawyers Association (WLA) of Malawi to challenge the arbitrary arrest and detention of a Woman Human Rights Defender(WHRD) on a charge of "Insulting the Modesty of a Woman" in contravention of section 137(3) of the…

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10 Dec 2018 Anneke Meerkotter
Reflection on the Closing of Civic Spaces in Southern Africa...

From 14 to 16 November 2018, 100 human rights defenders from across Southern Africa met to discuss the closing of civic spaces in the region. The Summit noted points for activism to ensure that human rights defenders are able to…

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06 Dec 2018 Staff Writer
News Release: Botswana High Court sets Hearing Date on Constitutionality of Offe...

A full bench of the Botswana High Court, sitting before the Honourable Judge A.B Tafa, the Honourable Judge M. Leburu and the Honourable Judge J. Dube has ordered that the hearing challenging the constitutionality of sections 164(a), 164(c) and 167…

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