World Association of News Publishers

Resolution on South African Information Laws

Resolution on South African Information Laws

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The Board of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), meeting on 6 October 2013 in Berlin, Germany during the World Publishing Expo, calls on the South African Parliament to amend the Protection of State Information Bill and ensure that it contains adequate protection for freedom of expression.

The Board notes that, on 12 September, President Jacob Zuma returned the proposed legislation to parliament for further consultation, saying that certain sections of the Bill “lacked meaning and coherence, consequently are irrational and accordingly are unconstitutional."

Under the current ‘Secrecy Bill’, anyone – including journalists - possessing or disclosing a classified record may be prosecuted and risks a potential 25-year jail sentence. In its present form, the Bill also lacks a public interest defence.

While welcoming the president’s demands for further clarity, the Board of WAN-IFRA calls on South African parliamentarians to heed the repeated concerns of law professionals, media and freedom of expression advocates and to revise the Protection of State Information Bill so that it meets internationally recognised standards for freedom of expression.


Andrew Heslop's picture

Andrew Heslop


2013-10-03 15:22

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