African Union: Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression commends ARTICLE 19 but calls on governments to do more
15 Oct 2012
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The African Union’s Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa, Pansy Tlakula, has commended ARTICLE 19 for its continued support to her office since its creation. During her activity report presented to the 52nd ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Yamoussoukro, Cote d'Ivoire, the rapporteur noted that the support from ARTICLE 19 and other NGOs has helped strengthen her office.
ARTICLE 19 is an active member of the campaign to decriminalise free expression on the continent as well as a working group on access to information and recently participated in a working group tasked with drafting a model access to information law.
ARTICLE 19 reiterates its resolve to support the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa, as well as the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights in general, in order to advance freedom of expression and access to information in the continent.
Tlakula noted in her address to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ rights, that there has been some movement towards enacting laws to protect the right to freedom of information in the continent, but that more work still needs to be done.
She called upon African governments to undertake reforms that will make them open and accessible to people. She also urged members states of the African Union to honour commitments they have made regarding freedom of expression and fulfill their reporting guidelines to the Commission. The Special Rapporteur noted with concern the continued violence against journalists and called on governments to hold the perpetrators accountable.
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