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Ericino de Salema was appointed by the new special rapporteur for Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa, Kenyan Lawrence Mute, to join a team of eight experts in charge of revising the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa, which has been in force since 2002 and is considered outdated by experts.
The team is to produce, in no more than 30 days, a document justifying the review, which should be a working meeting of experts to be held in a country yet to be defined.
The Declaration, which has influenced legislative reforms in a number of African countries, including Mozambique, is silent on the central issues of the so-called digital era, including data protection and security as key requirements for freedom online, politically motivated restrictions on access to the Internet and the regulation of freedom of expression on online platforms.
By mid-September, the team of experts will interact with a Reference Group made up of civil society organizations and academic institutions – including the Media Rights Agenda (MRA), based in Lagos, Nigeria; the Human Rights Center of the University of Pretoria, South Africa; the Federation of African Journalists, based in Dakar, Senegal; the African Platform for Access to Information, based in Kampala, Uganda; and the Center for Reproductive Rights, based in Nairobi, Kenya – and should have a revised draft ready, and then undertake a process of collecting contributions across the African continent.
In October, the group will present the draft revision of the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression to the plenary of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Banjul, Gambia. This entity is expected to approve the revised instrument during the first quarter of 2019.
This is the second time that Ericino de Salema has been nominated for a continental mission. In May 2016, he was appointed by the then Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa to the African Group of Experts to prepare the Guidelines on Access to Information and Elections in Africa.Source: O País