How legal frameworks on disinformation help suppression in Burkina Faso and GuineaPosted: 17 February, 2023 Filed under: Dércio Tsandzana, Simone Toussi | Tags: Burkina Faso, Cybersecurity and Data Protection Act, digital communication platforms, disinformation, false news, Francophone, General Gilbert Diendéré, Guinea, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, international human rights standards, misleading documents, suppression, terrorism, transitional periods Leave a comment
Author: Simone Toussi
Digital Rights Researcher, Africa Region
Disinformation, also known as, “all forms of false, inaccurate, or misleading information designed, presented and promoted to intentionally cause public harm or for profit”,  is on the rise in Africa, aided by the evolving digital communication platforms. To counter disinformation, several African governments are using provisions in existing laws or enacting new laws that do not comply with international human rights standards on freedom of expression and access to information. As of August 2022, no country in Francophone Africa has enacted legislation specifically on disinformation, but the majority have provisions regulating disinformation in various laws.
Decoding the ignorance of the world towards rising terrorism in Africa: A new Jihadist battlefield?Posted: 17 January, 2022 Filed under: Shelal Lodhi Rajput | Tags: 300 school girls, Africa, al Qaeda, Algeria, AQIM: Al Qaeda in the West, Boko Haram, Burkina Faso, campaigns of violence, Chad, civil war, French hostages, immoral activities, imposing taxes, ISIS, Islamic State groups, Islamist militants, Jihadist terror groups, mounting violence, new Syria, Syria, terrorism, terrorist attacks, United Nations, War on Terrorism Leave a comment
Author: Shelal Lodhi Rajput
BBA LL. B (Hons.)) candidate at Symbiosis Law School, Pune, India
Some of the greatest concerns for humanity right now, apart from the ongoing pandemic are the problems of climate change, ecocide and the rise of terrorism and jihadist outfits. Following the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, the threat of radical Islamic terrorism, which has its roots in the Middle East and South Asia, has taken center stage. While these violent religious extremists constitute a small percentage of the population, their danger is real. The International community has not been completely able to neutralise ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant). In 2015, ISIS expanded into a network of affiliates in at least eight other countries. Its branches, supporters, and affiliates increasingly carried out attacks beyond the borders of its so-called caliphate. Now once again a ‘new Syria’ is being built in West Africa but the world is ignoring it, world media is not highlighting the plight of the people.
Challenging anti-terrorism laws in Swaziland: When the judiciary becomes the stumbling blockPosted: 11 May, 2016 Filed under: Kudzani Ndlovu | Tags: Amnesty International, colonial legacy, constitution, democracy, freedom of assembly and association, freedom of conscience, freedom of expression and information, human rights, monarchy, Peoples United Democratic Movement, repression, Sediction Act, STA, Swaziland, Swaziland Solidarity Network, Swaziland Youth Congress, terrorism, Thulani Maseko 1 Comment
Author: Kudzani Ndlovu
Part-time lecturer, Lupane State University, Zimbabwe
On 8 and 9 February 2016 the pro-democracy movement in Swaziland converged at the High Court in Mbabane to attend a hearing on the constitutionality of the country’s two draconian and repressive laws – the Suppression of Terrorism Act No. 3 of 2008 (STA) and the British colonial era 1938 Sedition and Subversive Activities Act (Sedition Act) – which continue to be used by the state to stifle opposition and silence critics of the authoritarian monarchy.
Many, especially those outside Africa’s last absolute monarchy, had labelled this hearing as ‘historic’ but local activists remained less optimistic knowing that most of the country’s judges have sold their independence for thirty pieces of silver. The King’s influence in the appointment of judges has seriously undermined the independence of the judiciary. The Constitution of Swaziland provides that the judges are appointed by the King after consultation with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC). Judges are answerable to the King and hence they can never claim to be independent. It will only take rabid denialists and anarchists to argue that there is hope of an independent judiciary in Swaziland under the current system.
Nigerian schoolgirl kidnappings not just an act of terrorismPosted: 19 May, 2014 Filed under: Karen Stefiszyn | Tags: #bringbackourgirls, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Bok Haram, criminal law, gender-based violence, kidnapping, militant, Nigeria, Northern Nigeria, patriarchal society, Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, school girls, terrorism, UNICEF Leave a comment
Author: Karen Stefiszyn
Programme Manager: Gender Unit, Centre for Human Rights
The kidnapping by Boko Haram of over 200 school girls in Northern Nigeria is an act of gender based violence for which not only Boko Haram is responsible, but also the Nigerian government. Indeed the militant group has carried out atrocities against boys and men that are equally deplorable, however, in this instance it is not by chance that Boko Haram kidnapped girls. They were targeted because they are girls.
The leader of Boko Haram said in a video shortly after the kidnapping that he would sell the girls in the market. His statement is reflective of an exceptional disdain for girls, which did not exist in isolation, but within a patriarchal society where harmful stereotypes perpetuate girls’ inferiority and enable violence against women to be an accepted norm. Amnesty International has reported that up to two thirds of Nigerian women may have experienced violence in the home by an intimate partner. While domestic violence differs in nature from the kidnapping of over 200 school girls, the common thread is the context within which the acts occur; in a society which does not accord women equal value and provides the structural conditions whereby a girl or woman can be abused in the home or kidnapped and threatened to be sold in the market.
Upholding human rights in a state of emergency: What Nigeria must do now!Posted: 1 July, 2013 Filed under: Chinedu Nwagu | Tags: Bok Haram, extra-judicial killings, human rights, Nigeria, Nigerian Constitution, President Goodluck Jonathan, state of emergency, terrorism 2 Comments
Author: Chinedu Nwagu
Program Manager, CLEEN Foundation, Abuja. LLB (Hons) (Imo State University), BL (Nigeria Law School), LLM (Pretoria)
Since 2009, most parts of northern Nigeria, particularly the north-east zone, have been enveloped in a climate of fear and insecurity. This is largely due to the activities of the group Jamā’atu Ahlis Sunnah Lādda’awatih wal-Jihad (People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad), popularly known as “Boko Haram”. What began as a religious movement in 2002 has since grown into a full blown insurgence. The extra-judicial killing of its founder, Yusuf Mohammed, by the police in 2009, perhaps, served as a critical factor. The perennial failure of governance, porous borders with volatile neighbouring countries, high levels of illiteracy, poverty and unemployment, and more recently, the hard-handedness of the government’s military response, have also made mobilisation of support and radicalization a lot easier for the group.
The protracted security crisis has now led to a human rights and humanitarian crisis in those parts. Government interventions, for a long time, proved inadequate and failed to contain the crisis. Instead, several human rights violations were reported from the activities of both the government’s military Joint Task Force and Boko Haram. According to Amnesty International, people living in that part of the country are precariously trapped in a vicious cycle of violence. Lives and limbs have been lost, properties destroyed and people displaced. There is no consensus about the exact casualty figures. Nonetheless, there is no argument that it is well in the thousands now.