African commission on Human & people’s rights upholds freedom of expression & information on the Internet

Unwanted Witness Uganda welcomes a resolution by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights for Upholding the Right to Freedom of Information and Expression on the Internet in Africa.

Banjul, 8th/December/2016, Unwanted Witness commends the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights for it’s unanimous decision to uphold the right to freedom of information and expression on the internet and we call upon African states particularly Uganda to domesticate the resolution.

The Commission convened in the Islamic Republic of Gambia came on the heels of deteriorating situation of freedom of expression and access to information in Africa, calling on states parties to respect, take legislative and other measures to guarantee, respect and protect citizens’ right to freedom of information and expression through access to internet services.

Members focused on a resolution by United Nations Human Rights Council of 2012 which recognized the “global and open nature of the internet as a driving force in accelerating progress towards development in its various forms” and affirms that “same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, in particular freedom of expression, which is applicable regardless of frontiers and through any media of one’s choice”

While the commission recognizes the importance of the Internet and peoples’ rights in Africa, particularly the right to freedom of information and expression, it is equally concerned with the increasing states’ violation of this right by interrupting or limiting access to the Internet, social media and messaging services during elections.

“The commission’s pronouncement is timely especially for Ugandan government which has of recent decided to unjustifiable limit on the enjoyment of online freedoms. We therefore call upon government to implement UN and ACHPR resolutions in order to respect and protect Ugandans’ right to freedom of information and expression on the internet,” Says, Jeff Wokulira Ssebaggala, the Unwanted Witness Chief Executive Officer.

Unwanted witness Uganda is a civil society organization that advocates for open, secure and accessible Internet that contributes to the realization of human rights and good governance in Uganda.