Archives mensuelles

July2020

Paradigm Initiative concerned about arrest of whistle-blowing Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin’ono

Par | Liberté d'Internet, Communiqué de presse

Lusaka, Zambia – [July 21, 2020] – Paradigm Initiative, is deeply concerned by the arrest of Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin’ono on the 20th of July 2020 from his home in Harare.  The arrest which he live-streamed is allegedly linked to three tweets exposing acts of corruption within the government. The police also arrested an opposition activist Jacob Ngarivhume on the same day. 

Amidst social media alerts suggesting that Hopewell had been abducted by suspected State security agents, the Zimbabwe Republic Police then issued a déclaration confirming the arrest of the two in connection with the charge of incitement to participate in public violence as provided for in section 187(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Chapter 9:23. The 2 are yet to appear in court to be formally charged.

Today, the State security agents in Zimbabwe are signalé to have proceeded to Hopewell’s home to search for any gadgets used to tweet the so-called information that is likely to incite members of the public to commit public violence. Hopewells social media accounts have since been taken down. The arrest of Hopewell and Jacob comes at a time where the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum a coalition of 20 organisations including MISA-Zimbabwe has documented 24 attacks on media practitioners as presented in their Zimbabwe COVID-19 Lockdown Monitoring Report 19th to 20 July 2020 – Days 110 to 111 which captures the human rights violations from the 30th of March 2020 when Zimbabwe went on lockdown. 

Paradigm Initiative’s Program Officer for Southern Africa, Bulanda Nkhowani, describes the development as an outlandish action indicating a failure of the government of Zimbabwe to protect journalists in the conduct of their work as mandated by Principle 20(1) and (2) of the Declaration Of Principles On Freedom Of Expression And Access To Information In Africa (the Declaration) adopted by the African Commission On Human And Peoples’ Rights at its 65th Ordinary Session held From 21 October to 10 November 2019 In Banjul, The Gambia.

The principle states clearly that States shall guarantee the safety of journalists and other media practitioners and take measures to prevent attacks on journalists and other media practitioners, including murder, extra-judicial killing, torture and other forms of ill-treatment, arbitrary arrest and detention, enforced disappearance, kidnapping, intimidation, threats and unlawful surveillance undertaken by State and non-State actors. “The Declaration echoes the spirit of Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights that every individual shall have the right to express and disseminate his opinions within the law.” Bulanda concluded

We call the government of Zimbabwe to ensure that media freedoms are respected without the harassment of journalists in the execution of their mandate to ensure access to information which is critical for holding governments accountable to their citizenry.

We further urge the government of Zimbabwe to desist from arbitrary arrests of journalists, to desist from the unjustified invasion of their privacy and to follow due process to ensure that Hopewell and Jacob get access to justice says Paradigm Initiative’s Community Manager, Thobekile Masimbe

For more information about this statement, please contact: media@paradigmhq.org

 

Paradigm Initiative préoccupé par la censure des médias en ligne au Bénin

Par | Liberté d'Internet, Communiqué de presse

Yaoundé, Cameroon – [21 juillet  2020] –  Un communiqué de presse signé le 7 juillet 2020 par la Haute Autorité de l’Audiovisuel et de la Communication (HAAC) du Bénin annonce la « suspension sans délai » de plusieurs sites d’informations en ligne dans le pays.

Ledit communiqué menace également les journalistes des organes de presse en ligne de poursuites judiciaires pour violation de l’article 252 qui stipule que : « l’exploitation directe ou indirecte en République du Bénin à titre gratuit ou onéreux, d’un site Internet fournissant des services de communication audiovisuelle et de presse écrite destinés au public est subordonnée à l’autorisation de la Haute Autorité de l’Audiovisuel et de la Communication ».

Paradigm Initiative est profondément préoccupé par cette décision de la HAAC dont l’objectif est sans doute d’étouffer l’expression des opinions plurielles sur Internet au Bénin et invite le gouvernement a donné le temps nécessaire aux médias en ligne pour leur conformité.

« La décision de la HAAC et ses exigences mettent en danger l’avenir des blogueurs et des médias diffusant des contenus en ligne au Bénin. Nous exhortons le gouvernement béninois à prendre des mesures appropriées pour garantir la liberté d’expression en ligne », a déclaré Emmanuel Agbenonwossi, chargé de Communications de Paradigm Initiative.

Par ailleurs, Paradigm Initiative exhorte le président béninois Patrice Talon au respect des engagements internationaux pris par le Bénin en matière de droits humains en général et des droits numériques en particulier. Depuis l’arrivée au pouvoir du président Patrice Talon en 2016, la liberté de la presse n’a cessé de se détériorer au Benin et le pays a perdu 35 places depuis 2016 au Classement mondial établi par Reporters sans frontières (RSF). Aucun pays n’a connu un tel recul ces dernières années.

De 2016 à ce jour, le Bénin a enregistré 11 cas de violation des droits numériques allant des perturbations des réseaux sociaux en période électorale à l’arrestation et détention des journalistes pour des publications en ligne.

Le cas le plus récent est la condamnation en janvier 2020 du journaliste Ignace Sossou à dix-huit mois de prison ferme pour avoir tweeté les propos d’un procureur lors d’une conférence organisée par Canal France international.

Pour toute demande de renseignements à propos de ce communiqué de presse, veuillez envoyer un courriel à notre responsable des projets en Afrique francophone, Rigobert Kenmogne, rigobert.kenmogne@paradigmhq.org 

Paradigm Initiative trains 65 Tanzanians on digital policy

Par | Communiqué de presse

Paradigm Initiative has concluded a 3-day Digital Policy Workshop for Tanzanian Digital Rights Stakeholders from 7th-9th July 2020. Over 100 people applied to attend the workshop with over 65 persons selected to participate.

The workshop was officially opened by Paradigm Initiative’s Chief Operating Officer, Nnenna Paul-Ugochukwu, and took place over the course of three days, introducing participants to the basic concepts of digital rights and the existing policy, legal and institutional framework in Tanzania.

The workshop specifically examined Tanzania’s Cybercrimes Act and the Electronic and Postal Communications Act (EPOCA).

According to a Program Officer at Paradigm Initiative, Ekai Nabenyo, “It is evident that there is an urgent need to create an empowered civil society and digital rights community for the Republic of Tanzania to be able to safeguard its citizens’ digital rights”.  “The civil society should be empowered to shape and dictate digital policy in the country,” Ekai further states.

Participants urged the government of Tanzania to respect the rights of its citizens and to provide the necessary platform for civil society to oversee government adherence to its human rights obligations as election dates draw closer. They also expressed concerns that the current digital policy environment provides a fertile platform for human rights violations and a tendency for impunity on the part of state officials.

“As a digital rights advocacy organization, we endeavor to continue to closely monitor the state of digital rights in Tanzania. We shall continue to work with other stakeholders to build the capacity of civil society groups to be able to competently influence, protect and safeguard digital rights in Tanzania and in the region, through similar interventions” says the Senior Program Manager at Paradigm Initiative, Adeboye Adegoke.

The end goal of the workshop is to ensure that stakeholders in Tanzania that already understand and follow current trends in digital rights, Tanzania civil society groups, and others can leverage the expertise of Paradigm Initiative and its partners to be able to work together with the regulatory authority and the parliament in Tanzania towards improving the state of digital rights in the country.

Participants agreed to work together in order to present a united and formidable force in its advocacy engagements in Tanzania.

fr_FRFrench
en_USEnglish fr_FRFrench