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The Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act: Five years on
June 29, 2007

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MISA-Zimbabwe is today pleased to commission its publication, AIPPA Five Years On, a comprehensive report that chronicles the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act's (AIPPA) onslaught on media freedom, freedom of expression and the civil liberties of the citizens in general.

AIPPA Five Years On, is an updated sequel to our September 2004 publication, The Acesss to Information and Protection of Privacy Act: Two Years On, which was compiled by MISA-Zimbabwe in collaboration with Article 19: London which takes its name and purpose from Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which protects the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

This report captures AIPPA's trail of destruction since its enactment in 2002 up to the second half of the year 2007. It describes the legislation, critiquing it and providing an overview on how it has been implemented and the impact this has had on the free flow of information and ideas in Zimbabwe. It also provides an overview of the context in which AIPPA operates, including other repressive laws and measures, which prevent independent perspectives from being voiced.

AIPPA Five Years On captures and projects in greater detail how AIPPA and other complementary restrictive legislations such as the Public Order and Security Act (POSA), Broadcasting Services Act (BSA), Criminal Law (Codification and Reform Act), Constitutional Amendment No 17 Act, among others, have trampled fundamental rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly through the continued unlawful, arrests, assaults, harassment, intimidation and detention of journalists, human rights activists and leaders of opposition political parties and other citizens deemed oppositional by the government.

MISA-Zimbabwe cherishes your continued support and assistance towards the advancement of its shared mission and vision for the creation of a Zimbabwe in which the media enjoys freedom of expression, independence from political, economic and commercial interests, pluralism of views and opinions as a principle means of nurturing democracy and human rights as envisaged in the 1991 Windhoek Declaration on Promoting Free and Independent Media.

Table of contents

  • Introduction
  • AIPPA: Overview and Critique
  • The Overall Context
  • Other Repressive Legislation
  • The Public Order and Security Act
  • The Broadcasting Services Act
  • Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act
  • General Laws Amendment Act
  • Control over the Public Media
  • General Harassment of the Media
  • Content Restrictions
  • Newspaper Registration: Closure of The Tribune, The Weekly Times and The Daily News
  • Update Chronicle of the ANZ Legal Battle
  • Analysis of the ANZ Judgment
  • Accreditation of Journalists: The IJAZ Case
  • Conclusion
  • Annex: Table of Violations

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