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Sierra Leone: IFJ Hails Repeal Of Criminal Defamation Law

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Sierra Leone: IFJ Hails Repeal Of Criminal Defamation Law

The International Federation of Journalists has described the repealing of Sierra Leone’s criminal libel law as a “great victory for freedom of information.

The law, which meant people could be jailed for libelous statements, was repealed six days ago.

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Before that, people could be jailed for up to three years, whether or not what they wrote was true.

That’s because the law did not allow truth as a defence, unless you can prove that publishing the truth is in the public interest.

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Among their complaints was that it was actually used to gag journalists and repress independent and opposition voices.

Campaigners have been arguing for more than a decade for the law to be repealed.

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Ethiopia Charges 2,000 Over Violence After Musician’s Murder

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Haacaaluu Hundeessaa

In Ethiopia, nearly 2,000 persons have been charged over deadly violence that followed the killing of a popular singer in June.

More than three months ago, at least 166 persons were killed when violent protests erupted following the murder of Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, some in protests against authorities and some in ethnically-targeted attacks.

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Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, the country’s attorney general, Gideon Timothewos said the arrested persons are being charged for their conduct that resulted in the death of hundreds of citizens.

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He did not give details on the charges or on whether any prisoners had been released without charge.

On June 29, Haacaaluu was shot dead while driving in the capital Addis Ababa. He was one of Ethiopia’s biggest musical stars and a powerful political voice, with many of his songs speaking out on behalf of his Oromo ethnic group and calling for more freedoms.

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South Africa To Reopen International Travel

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South Africa To Reopen International Flight

South Africa says it will reopen its borders to international travel next month.  President Cyril Ramaphosa says the country has seen a significant drop in daily new coronavirus infections.

South Africa is the worst hit nation on the continent with more than six hundred sixty-five thousand confirmed COVID-19 cases. The virus also claimed more than 16,000 lives in the country. So far, more than 4 million coronavirus tests have been conducted.

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Transport minister Fikile Mbalula said travellers must present a 72-hours certification of covid-19 negative result.

Authorities say airports in Johannesburg and Cape Town are the only other two airports that will be open to let locals travel abroad and receive foreign visitors from countries deemed non-high-risk.

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South Africa: Ramaphosa Backs Removal Of Statues ‘Glorifying Racism’

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SA Leader Backs Removal Of Statues 'Glorifying Racism'

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has given a nod to the removal of statues that glorify the country’s apartheid past. Ramaphosa said “any symbol, monument or activity that glorifies racism, or represents ugly past, has no place in democratic South Africa.

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The campaign to remove statues of historical apartheid figures has been growing in the country, gaining support mainly from blacks.

The South African president said in a virtual address on Thursday “monuments glorifying divisive past should be re-positioned and relocated.  He made the remark as the country marked heritage day, an annual public holiday, to celebrate the country’s diverse cultures.

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Ramaphosa said removal of the statues should not be taken as erasing history, but as a way of “being sensitive to the lived experiences of the country’s people. He said the objective is to build a united nation.

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