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MISA statement on UN Human Rights Council Resolution on safety of
of Southern Africa (MISA)
October 02, 2013
The Media Institute
of Southern Africa (MISA) is greatly encouraged by the passing of
a resolution on the Safety of Journalists at the recently concluded
24th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC).
the concern that “violations of the right to freedom of opinion
and expression continue to occur, including increased attacks against,
and killings of, journalists and media workers.”
resolution is significant in that it affirms the importance of the
safety of journalists as a fundamental element of freedom of expression”,
said MISA Regional Director Zoé Titus.
Africa, journalists, media workers and freedom of expression activists
continue to come under fire. Therefore, MISA fully supports the
call for States, especially, those in southern Africa, “to
promote a safe and enabling environment for journalists to perform
their work independently and without undue interference including
through (i) legislative measures, (ii) awareness-raising among the
judiciary, law enforcement officers and military personnel as well
as journalists and civil society regarding international human rights
and humanitarian law obligations and commitments relating to the
safety of journalists, (iii) monitoring and reporting of attacks
against journalists (iv) publicly condemning, as well as, (v) dedicating
necessary resources to investigate and prosecute such attacks.”
we are increasingly concerned about the very real threat posed by
mass online surveillance to the work of journalists. MISA therefore
support calls for the issue of surveillance technologies and online
security to be introduced into the debate on the safety of journalists
and the protection of whistleblowers.
MISA is committed
to fighting impunity within southern Africa and will enhance the
framework for its media freedom monitoring work to generate more
evidence of violations with the aim of holding those who violate
media rights to account. At the same time, MISA will extend mechanisms
for protecting journalists, media workers and freedom of expression
activists within the region.
that 2013 is proving to be a significant year for media freedom.
“Whilst our region (Southern Africa) has avoided the violent
conflicts that have continued to afflict other parts of Africa in
the last decade, it is nevertheless a region confronted with vast
challenges of poverty. Thus, the recent HRC resolution and the May
2013 Midrand Declaration on Press Freedom in Africa of the Pan African
Parliament, is evident of a growing awareness of the media as a
potential enabler of the kind of civic participation and empowerment
that promotes human development,” she said.
the Media Institute of Southern
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