Right2Know hosting night vigils against secrecy bill

19 September 2011 - 14:01
By Times LIVE
Image: Sunday Times

Right2Know will hold nights vigils in three South African cities against the Protection of Information Bill before it's tabled in parliament tomorrow.

The candlelight vigils will take place from 6pm to 8pm in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg on Monday.

In a statement, Right2Know says: "We would like to invite all South Africans to join us as we light candles in support of freedom of expression and access to information. Help us send a message to the Members of Parliament who will vote on the Bill that we will not stand by and allow these Freedoms to be snuffed out.... This is time for all of us to stand together and ensure that the Bill is not passed."

The Protection of State Information Bill allows State documents to be classified, with possible jail terms for journalists who use any of the information contained in them, even if it is in the public interest. The Bill will be tabled by the National Assembly on Tuesday.

Many have slammed the Bill, saying it is a threat to media freedom. Former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils said at a conference that the Bill "deviates from all the nice constitutional and Bill of Rights safeguards".

The night vigils will happen at the following places:

  • Kotze entrance to Constitution Hill (Johannesburg)
  • King’s House, Eastbourne Rd (Durban)
  • Parliament, Plein Street (Cape Town)