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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  • Removal of stigmatising and marginalising laws including those criminalising consensual same-sex sexual acts, and outdated mental health laws.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.
Freedom of Expression, Assembly and AssociationMalawiNews

Civil Society Organisations Release Joint Statement Against Crackdowns in Freedom of Expression and the Press in Malawi

On 2 May 2022, and in commemoration of World Freedom Press Day, Civil Society Organisations from Malawi released a joint statement expressing their concerns over rising incidents of police surveillance, interception of private conversations, and the crackdown on freedoms of expression and the press in Malawi. The organisations expressed their…
EswatiniFreedom of Expression, Assembly and AssociationNewsRule of LawSOGIE Rights

NEWS RELEASE: ESWATINI HIGH COURT AFFIRMS LGBTIQ+ RIGHTS YET DENIES REGISTRATION OF LGBTIQ+ ORGANISATION

29 April 2022, Mbabane - Today, the Eswatini High Court, per Dlamini J and Fakudze J, upheld the decision to refuse registration of Eswatini Sexual and Gender Minorities (ESGM). In a dissenting opinion, Maphanga J agreed with Applicants that the decision of the Registrar of Companies was unreasonable. Dlamini J…
Bradley Fortuin
29 Apr 2022
Freedom of Expression, Assembly and AssociationNewsZambia

News Release: Prosection finally withdraws charges against Zambian youth activist for defaming President

Johannesburg, 19 January 2022 – On 18 January 2022, the Kitwe Subordinate Court was due to continue the trial of youth activist Lawrence Kasonde. Kasonde was arrested on 24 November 2020 for allegedly defaming former President Edgar Lungu. Instead, the prosecution applied for the accused to be discharged per section…
Staff Writer
19 Jan 2022
BlogDemocratic Republic of CongoEswatiniFreedom of Expression, Assembly and Association

STATEMENT: 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 AssociationNewsRule of LawZambia

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