Category Archives: Law

Morocco implements ban on forced marriages

A new law criminalising sexual violence and harassment has come into force in Morocco.

The law – which includes a ban on forced marriage – follows growing concern in recent years about levels of abuse against women.

One survey found that six in 10 Moroccan women had suffered some kind of violence. Recent rape cases have received wide coverage on social media.

BBC Arabic’s Mouna Ba says the new law has been widely welcomed, but it has also been criticised because it does not provide a definition of domestic violence or a specific ban on marital rape.


High-profile Angolan journalist acquitted

One of Angola’s most well-known journalists Rafael Marques de Moraies and editor Mariano Bras Lourenço have been acquitted by a court in the capital, Luanda.

Marques de Morais, who runs the anti-corruption website Maka Angola, and Mariano Bras Lourenço, who is the editor of the weekly newspaper O Crime, were charged on 21 June 2017 for publishing an article alleging illegal land acquisition involving former Attorney General João Maria de Sousa.

A verdict and sentencing were expected to be read out today.

A Human Rights Watch official has tweeted a picture of the two journalists and comments from the presiding judge saying: “We can’t punish messengers of bad news.”

Anger as social media tax hits Uganda

Many Ugandans are turning to Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to bypass a new social media tax that came into force on Sunday.

The new law imposes a 200 shilling [$0.05, £0.04] daily levy on people using internet messaging platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and Viber.

President Yoweri Museveni had pushed for the changes, arguing that social media encouraged gossip. Critics say the law curtails freedom of expression.

A VPN gets around government censorship by redirecting your internet activity to a computer in a different country.

Now the head of the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has said VPNs will be blocked, provoking plenty of responses online:

It’s not the first time the government has cracked down on social media users.

In 2016, social media platforms were blocked in Uganda on election day to stop people “telling lies”, President Museveni said.


Uganda phone firms ready for WhatsApp tax

Three mobile network providers in Uganda have issued a joint statement to help their customers comply with a law taxing social media use, which comes into effect on 1 July.

Airtel, MTN and Africell have provided a daily, weekly and monthly pay structure and a guide on how to make payments.

MPs passed a law to impose the controversial tax in May after President Yoweri Museveni said social media encouraged gossip.

People using internet messaging platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber and Twitter will have to pay a daily levy of 200 shilling ($0.05, £0.04).

Here is the full statement from the three mobile phone companies:

Source: Morning Call

Death sentence dropped for Sudan teenager who killed husband

An appeal court in Sudan has overturned the death sentence of a teenager who killed her husband after he allegedly raped her, her lawyer has said.

Noura Hussein, 19, was instead sentenced to five years in jail, lawyer Abdelaha Mohamad said.

Her mother, Zainab Ahmed, told the BBC she was happy her daughter’s life had been spared by the appeal court.

International celebrities had backed an online campaign, #JusticeforNoura, to demand Hussein’s release.

Last month, an Islamic court had sentenced to her to death by hanging, following her conviction for the pre-meditated murder of her husband.

Source: BBC

The sexual harassment discourse: Beyond lip service, unto facts and figures

A research and data from platform is taking the lead to provide comprehensive and quality data on sexual harassment via an online survey campaign to gather responses from ONE MILLION Nigerians on their experiences, dispositions and opinions on the ravaging social malaise.

As the heated discourse of the issue of sexual harassment and its various dimensions continue to gather speed and new angles, a compelling question remains that of access to usable facts and figures.

Although reference would typically be made to the staggering prevalence of sexual harassment in the society, the point must be made that without reliable and precise data, much use cannot be made of such inferences. Where empirical data is available, the scope usually falls short of what would serve for valid interpretations and objective programming of interventions. Hence, as cases and events related to this societal sore keep popping up in various places all around us, it goes without saying that it would be of immense value to have some form of valid statistics or the other, upon which meaningful decisions, policies and laws can be made by individuals, organizations and governmental bodies engaged in the fight against the social malignancy.

One way that, a research and data platform committed to open source information and research facilitation, has seen fit to tackle this need is to deploy a rather ambitious initiative which crux is a strategic online survey aimed at seeking and collecting hard facts from at least ONE MILLION Nigerians on the issue of sexual harassment. Coming on the heels of the avalanche of reactions and counter-reactions spurred by the recent “Monica Osagie” episode, the survey campaign, which is interestingly tagged “Speak Up Against Sexual Harassment”, is one which promises to deliver a load of valuable data and statistics when the project is completed. The survey questionnaire itself is a 25 item piece hosted on the survey-based research platform of the firm which is aptly named Raadaa Insights and can be easily accessed and responded to via

It is projected that the data collection phase will take about 90 days and then there will be analyses of the data obtained and subsequent publishing of results. Extended plans include having the resulting information in a data repository housed on the platform for use by relevant stakeholders. In the meantime, extensive publicity is being mounted on various online as well as offline channels to promote the initiative and the survey by both Raadaa and various partners involved in the present project.

While we can all await some insightful data resulting from this initiative, more information regarding the initiative or other news thereby can readily be accessed on the Raadaa home domain ( as well as the surveys platform ( In the meantime, we say kudos to the Raadaa team and wish them good winds in their sails.

[Sponsored by Naij News]

By Mitchelle Okuku

IPC warns Nigerian Senate against passing a bill which prescribes death sentence for hate speech

A media watch group has warned the Nigerian Senate against going ahead with the passage of a bill before it, which prescribes death sentence for ‘hate speech’, saying that it would crush the right of Nigerians to freedom of expression as guaranteed by the constitution of the country.

The bill was sponsored by the spokesman of the upper chamber, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger).

In a statement signed by the Chairman of International Press Centre (IPC) in Lagos, Lanre Arogundade, advised the national assembly to convene a meeting with stakeholders to determine what could be regarded as hate speech.

He said: “A draconian law that hallmarks dictatorship cannot be the solution to hate speech in a democratic society. What the country needs today is engagement by multiple stakeholders to determine what actually constitutes hate speech and agree on effective measures for dealing with such.

“Much as we do not welcome hate speech, we do not also welcome a law that would gag citizens and deny the public the right to know.”

Arogundade, who is a veteran journalist, similarly called on the Department of State Services (DSS) to release Tony Ezimakor, a journalist, who has been in its detention since last Wednesday.

While affirming the illegality of continuous detention of Ezimakor, Arogundade asked the DSS to charge him to court if they are convinced he has acted against the law.

He said: “The DSS should immediately charge Mr. Ezimakor to court if the agency is convinced that he has committed any offence known to the law of the country.”