Tuesday, 31 Aug, 13h00, Cape Town
Over 180 civil society organisations and numerous prominent individuals have endorsed a civil society statement titled ‘Let the Truth Be Told! Stop the Secrecy Bill’. The statement characterizes the Protection of Information Bill as fundamentally undermining the struggle for whistleblower protection and access to information and as reminiscent of our apartheid past. The statement calls for a redrafting of the Bill to comply with the constitutional values of access to information and freedom of expression.
The statement, produced under the banner of the Right To Know campaign, will be launched at a press conference on Tuesday 31 August at 13h00 at Dean King Hall, St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town.
The Right to Know campaign will also be announcing plans to raise public concern about the Protection of Information Bill and other threats to the freedom of expression through a week of action that will commence on 19 October 2010 (the commemoration of Black Wednesday). The statement will remain open for further endorsements through the campaign website (www.right2know.org.za).
The 180 organisations endorsing the statement include Afesis-Corplan, the Alternative Information Development Centre, Amnesty International, Black Sash, Ceasefire Campaign, CIVICUS, Democracy Development Programme, Diakonia Council of Churches, Earthlife Africa, Freedom of Expression Institute, Gay & Lesbian Network, Idasa, Institute for Security Studies, Open Democracy Advice Centre, M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism (amaBhungane), National Welfare Forum, Palestine Support Committee, Professional Journalists’ Association, Section27, South African History Archives, and the South African National Editors Forum as well as various social movements including Equal Education, Social Justice Coalition, Social Movements Indaba, Treatment Action Campaign, and the Unemployed People’s Movement.
Over 400 individuals have also endorsed the Statement, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nadine Gordimer, Prof Kader Asmal, Zakes Mda, Dr Max Price, Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Zackie Achmat, Pieter-Dirk Uys, Mary Burton, Mazibuko K Jara, Andrew Feinstein, Richard Spoor, Andre Brink, Terry Bell, Laurie Nathan, Pierre de Vos, Max Du Preez, Paul Graham, Pippa Green, Prof Hoosen Coovadia and Breyten Breytenbach.
A full list of endorsing organizations and individuals will be released at the Statement launch.
Media are encouraged to attend the statement launch:
DATE: Tuesday 31 August
VENUE: Dean King Hall, St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town,
For more information or comment, contact memebers of the Right to Know working group:
Stefaans Brummer, M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism, 0832747438
Judith February, IDASA, 0834539817
Allison Tilly, ODAC, 0832582209
Hennie van Vuuren, ISS, 0829021303
Mark Weinberg, AIDC, 0741036704