Continental Rights Activists Seek Freedom From State Pressures

The activists from around   the continent decried government clump-down on media and internet liberty

A cross section of Human rights activists in most parts of Africa and beyond continue to be denied their freedoms by governments.

In most cases, try dosage it’s exacerbated by collision arising from pushing for reforms in governance and civil rights which creates a hostile relationship.

During a Forum on Internet Freedom in East Africa held at Golf Course Hotel on Tuesday, viagra order mind human rights defenders called for policies that will mitigate clamping on internet freedoms.

The forum was organized by Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) and Open Net Africa.

Human rights defenders noted that their work is faced with threats from the state, medications lack of privacy as well as being branded enemies of government.

Nicholas Opiyo, a Ugandan human rights lawyer observed that undemocratic tendencies remain the dominant limitation of these freedoms.

Opiyo further explained the plight of sexual minorities in the face of societal criticism. “After filing a petition against the anti gay law, I was hounded and chased away from the law society. They said my actions were not in line with the organization” said Opiyo.

In South Sudan, following the splitting from Sudan and the consequent power struggle, the country has witnessed press censorship with and killings of journalists.

Edward Terso Loku, from the Union of S. Sudan Journalists said that existing pressures force journalists in the country to water down their stories so as not to have too much criticism of government.

“When this occured, most of them (scribes) fled the country to exile as a result of harassment and threats” While this is the case, less than 20 percent of the populace don’t have access to the internet among other challenges like illiteracy and poor electricity.

Similar cases of suppression were cited from Zambia where the ‘Zambian Watchdog’, an online paper that covers issues of governance has constantly been shutdown.

“This came after the paper had raised red flags about former Zambian president’s health situation” said Hellen Mwale from the Media Institute of S.Africa. Activists who attended the forum expressed the need for more capacity building to be done and brainstormed ideas on how these threats can be countered.



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