Home 9 Freedom of expression 9 Patriot Bill signed into law

Patriot Bill signed into law

14 Jul, 2023
Prior to its enactment, Commissioner Ourveena Geereesha Topsy-Sonoo, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information wrote to President Mnangagwa, advising him against signing the then Bill into law.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has signed into law the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Amendment Bill which deals with willfully injuring the sovereignty and national interest of Zimbabwe.

It is feared that this law is designed to crack down on any form of dissent in the country and punishing citizens, civil society organisations and political adversaries exercising their right to free expression on national affairs.

Prior to its enactment, Commissioner Ourveena Geereesha Topsy-Sonoo, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information wrote to President Mnangagwa, advising him against signing the then Bill into law.

Commissioner Topsy-Sonoo warned then that the Bill would have far-reaching consequences on freedom of expression and association in Zimbabwe if it is signed into law.

The Commissioner advised that the law would have the effect of curtailing the exercise of rights such as media freedom and freedom of expression, the right to privacy, access to information, freedom of conscience, political rights, freedom to demonstrate and petition, and freedom of assembly and association.

About MISA

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) was founded in 1992. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.

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