The Campaign for Free Expression

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State of FoE in SA

The landscape for free expression in South Africa is darkening, our major new report warns. Although the country has enjoyed a great deal of openness since the dawn of democracy in1994, the report identifies a startling number of growing threats to our freedom to speak out and to enjoy an open and free media. These include assassinations, new laws, attacks on journalists, disruption of protests by the police, growing state surveillance of citizens and the violent silencing of women and groups such as  LBBTQ+ people.

eSwatini FoE Summit

This is the report into our second Eswatini Freedom of Expression Summit. Held on 15 June 2023 in Manzini, the meeting brought together 150 representatives of all sectors of the country’s civil society to discuss the state of free expression and democracy. It was organised in partnership with the Canadian High Commission, the British High Commission, UN Eswatini and the Coordinating Assembly of Non-Government Organisations (Cango).

The State of Free Expression in the South African Cultural Sector: An Investigation

This CFE report, The State of Free Expression in the South African Cultural Sector: An Investigation explores the factors that affect and disrupt growth and sustainability in the arts and culture sector, as detailed by cultural workers. It looks at the extent to which political pressures lead to censorship and censorship to self-censorship, and the impact this has on the ability of cultural workers to engage in their sector.

SILENT KILLER: When institutional obligations restrict public health workers’ moral duty to save lives

With the public health sector facing tremendous challenges due to corruption, maladministration, incompetence and neglect, public health workers struggle to serve their patients diligently. Worse, they cannot freely speak out to address their grievances. Some senior government hospital officials are punishing workers who voice concerns about working conditions that may threaten patients’ lives, using public service rules and regulations as a cover-up. Our research report details how government officials have politicised the management of public hospitals, stifled dissent and blocked the public’s access to information that can be used to claim accountability.

eSwatini Freedom of Expression Summit

This is a report on a Freedom of Expression (FoE) Summit held in Manzini on October 20, 2022. About 100 civil society representatives from a broad range of organisations met to highlight the need for greater FoE in a country currently facing serious political and economic challenges.

The summit was organised by the Inhlase Centre for Investigative Journalism, based in Mbabane, and the Campaign for Free Expression, based in Johannesburg.

Dark Days in eSwatini

The Campaign for Free Expression’s (CFE) special report on recent developments in eSwatini, Dark Days in eSwatini, highlights the monarchy’s harsh response to protest and its tight control over how it was reported. Violent clashes between protestors and soldiers led to between 34 and 50 civilian deaths.