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.


20 Sep 2018 Staff Writer
SALC IN THE NEWS: eSwatini police attack unarmed protesters with batons, stun gr...

news24 Police in eSwatini have come under fire after they used batons and stun grenades to disperse protesting workers in Manzini. According to reports demonstrators and police clashed in Swaziland during a protest action to demand higher wages and reforms…

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19 Sep 2018 Staff Writer
Statement: SALC condemns police attacks on protesting workers in Swaziland...

During the week preceding the elections, marches were planned by striking civil servants, teachers and nurses in the four major cities and towns of Mbabane, Manzini, Nhlangano and Siteki. The Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) and its affiliates are…

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14 Sep 2018 Staff Writer
Statement: Launch of research report on “The alignment of Eswatini’s...

The Southern Africa Litigation Centre released a report on "The Alignment of Eswatini's Domestic law with recommendations of United Nations Human Rights Mechanisms" in Mbabane on the 13th of September 2018. The report was drafted with support from the European…

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12 Sep 2018 Staff Writer
SALC Research Report: Alignment of Eswatini’s Domestic Laws with Recommend...

It is more than seventy years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted yet the struggle to achieve full realisation of human rights remains a pressing reality. One of the challenges hampering the enjoyment of human rights…

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04 Sep 2018 Staff Writer
Statement: Southern African Human Rights Defenders Network condemns the violent ...

The SAHRDN has today demanded that the Malawian Police and relevant government authorities urgently and openly investigate the violence, assault and threats against the staff of the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and bring the perpetrators to justice.…

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19 Aug 2018 Staff Writer
Swaziland: eSwatini’s tinkhundla-based electoral system to be tested in potent...

With only about a month to polls, an eSwatini (Swaziland) political party is going to court to fight for the right of individuals running in the absolute monarchy’s unusually apolitical elections to openly and freely associate with the party of…

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