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Secrecy bill passed: now Black to the past

22 November 2011 - 17:24 By Abdul Milazi

Political revolutions are usually the result of poor or oppressive government, and many times end in a worse situation than before. This seems to be the scenario playing itself out in South Africa with the passing of the controversial Protection of State Information Bill.

The National Party's reign was strongly based on total control of information that citizen may access, and the only information permissible was only that which was released by the state propaganda department. It looks like we are back where we started, with our erstwhile revolutionaries now merely becoming black paint of the same white picket fence.

Today is the last day you read about government corruption.

The following headlines and stories will soon be a reality in South Africa. These are real stories that were reported in the media.

30 April 2010 - Amnesty International today called on the Cuban authorities to end harassment of independent journalists following a month in which several reporters were arbitrarily detained and intimidated for criticizing the government.

24 May 2008 – You cannot kill truth by murdering journalists,” said Tubal Páez, president of the Journalist Union of Cuba.

13 Oct 2010 – An unusually blunt letter, signed by retired Communist Party officials, says that government control of the press violate China's Constitution.

27 January 2011 - A leading Chinese journalist, Zhang Ping, said he had been forced out of his job this week amid tightened restrictions on the media.

27 October 2011 - The gradual erosion of press freedom in Venezuela continued in 2010. The media landscape featured political intimidation by government officials and state-owned media in their opinion programs, laws restricting the exercise of basic human rights, systematic judicial and administrative harassment of opposition outlets, economic threats against independent media, and physical attacks against journalists amid a worsening climate of common criminality.

June 2009 -  Iranian police have initiated an apparent violent crackdown on protesters who dare to speak against the government in the streets of Tehran as 10 of the demonstrators were reportedly killed.

5 Oct 2010 – The Egyptian Journalists' Union has accused the government of cracking down on media after two popular talk shows were closed.

6 Jan 2009 – Israel authorities have barred from the battle zone in Gaza, but have given them full access to sites inside Israel hit by Hamas rockets.

24 Oct 2011 – The media clampdown in Egypt is worsening. Over the past six weeks, the ruling military council has censored the press, raided newspaper offices.