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  • Removal of stigmatising and marginalising laws including those criminalising consensual same-sex sexual acts, and outdated mental health laws.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

SALC statement on the attacks on human rights defenders and journalists in Zimbabwe

With the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ rights 68th Ordinary Session taking place from 14 April to 4 May 2021, the Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC) wishes to highlight the continued harassment and persecution of journalists and human rights defenders in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe adopted a new Constitution in 2013,…
Staff Writer
13 Apr 2021
Freedom of Expression, Assembly and AssociationNewsRule of LawSADCSOGIE Rights

Reaffirming tolerance in Southern Africa on 16 November: The UN international day of tolerance

By Kelvin Vries On 16 November 1995, UNESCO’s member states adopted the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance. The Declaration defines tolerance as “respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human”. The Declaration elevates tolerance from a moral…
Staff Writer
16 Nov 2020
Freedom of Expression, Assembly and AssociationResearch Reports & Policy BriefsRule of LawTanzania

Policy Brief: Rule by Law and the Attack on Civic Freedoms in Tanzania

Tanzania’s President John Magufuli was elected to office in 2015, and it has been under his tenure that the country’s human rights record continues to deteriorate. Despite the fact that Tanzania’s Constitution guarantees amongst others, the right to equality, the right to privacy, the right to freedom of expression and…
Staff Writer
26 Oct 2020