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Civic Rights

SALC engages in litigation and advocacy to protect civil and political rights.

Through this work, SALC aims to contribute to the following strategic objectives:

Legal reforms to ensure freedom of expression, association and assembly:

  • Reform of laws relating to assemblies, associations, media, and cybercrimes, to ensure their compliance with regional and international human rights standards.
  • Repeal of the offences of criminal defamation, defamation/insult of the President or public officers, sedition, spreading false news.
  • Removal of stigmatising and marginalising laws including those criminalising consensual same-sex sexual acts, and outdated mental health laws.
  • Advocacy against the use of national security or public morality arguments to prevent the exercise of the rights to expression, assembly and association.
  • Advocacy for the implementation of laws which promote access to information and data protection.
  • Improved public participation in the law-making process and increased space for civil society input in the development of laws, including those relating to NGO regulation, assemblies, cybercrimes, media, hate speech, access to information and data protection.

Promotion of an enabling environment for human rights defenders:

  • Protect human rights defenders and journalists from attacks, surveillance and hate speech.
  • Prosecution of persons who violate the rights of human rights defenders.
  • Provide support to human rights defenders and journalists who are persecuted.
  • Promote press freedom, by promoting self-regulation of the media and the removal of onerous licensing and fee requirements for journalists, including foreign journalists, bloggers and social media users.
  • Ensuring the rights to association, assembly and expression are vigorously and equally protected during election periods.
BlogDemocratic Republic of CongoEswatiniFreedom of Expression, Assembly and Association

CONCERN AS STATES CONTINUE TO USE TERRORISM LAWS TO INHIBIT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND ACCESS TO INFORMATION

As the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) joins the world in commemorating the International Day for Universal Access to Information, SALC condemns the increased use of 'terrorism' laws to crackdown on freedom of expression and access to information in Africa. Arrests of the media and civil society actors under trumped-up…
Staff Writer
27 Sep 2021
Freedom of Expression, Assembly and AssociationNewsZambia

Statement calling on the government of Zambia to uphold human rights ahead of the upcoming elections

On 12 August 2021, general elections will be held in Zambia wherein voters will elect a President, 156 members of parliament, and 117 district council leaders. The Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) calls upon Zambian authorities and political parties to commit to respecting, protecting, promoting, and ensuring full respect for…
Staff Writer
11 Aug 2021
Freedom of Expression, Assembly and AssociationNewsSouth Africa

News Release: Constitutional Court confirms that publication by Jon Qwelane constituted hate speech

On 30 July 2021, the Constitutional Court handed down its judgment in the matter of Jonathan Dubula Qwelane v South African Human Rights Commission and Another. Central to the Court’s decision was whether the hate speech provision under Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 4 of 2000…
Staff Writer
30 Jul 2021
Business and Human RightsCriminal JusticeFreedom of Expression, Assembly and AssociationHealth RightsRule of LawSubmissionsZimbabwe

SALC SUBMISSION ON ZIMBABWE’S 3RD UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW

Zimbabwe is in the midst of an economic crisis, which has only been exacerbated by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdown restrictions have led to a decrease in manufacturing, non-mineral exports, hospitality, trade and transport sectors. Despite Zimbabwe’s Constitution, there is a serious deterioration of the political, economic and…
Staff Writer
15 Jul 2021