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.


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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30 Nov 2018 Staff Writer
Official registration of key populations organizations opens doors for funding a...

Local community groups working with populations vulnerable to HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa are making inroads into obtaining official recognition by their governments, which is expanding opportunities for increased funding and ensuring a more substantial, and needed, role in national HIV…

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19 Nov 2018 Staff Writer

FOCUSSING ON CIVIL, POLITICAL and ECONOMIC RIGHTS Presented at the 63rd session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights Chair, honourable Commissioners of the AComHPR, State delegates, representatives of National Human Rights Institutions, members of Civil Society Organisations…

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13 Nov 2018 Anneke Meerkotter
Publication: Reflecting on the Closing of Civic Spaces in Southern Africa...

Reflecting on the Closing of Civic Spaces and its Impact on Marginalised Groups in Southern Africa 2018 marks the 20th anniversary since the United Nations General Assembly adopted the landmark Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and…

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26 Oct 2018 Staff Writer
CSO recommendation to reconsider Egypt as host state for the 64th Ordinary Sessi...

A letter to the Chair of African Commission on Human and People's Rights on CSO's recommendation to reconsider Egypt as host state for the 64th Ordinary Session. Find the letter here.

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22 Oct 2018 Staff Writer
African Commission: Human Rights in an Absolute Monarchy...

On 25 October, SALC and partner organisations working in Eswatini to hold discussions on the situation of human rights in an Absolute monarchy. The event will take place at the Kairaba beach hotel, Banjul, Gambia at the margins of the…

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