Today the President of PEN Gambia, Musa Sheriff, presented a petition led by PEN African Centres and signed by over 150 writers and NGOs across the African continent, Chairperson of the African Commission, Madame Soyata Maiga, calling on African states to abolish criminal defamation and “insult” laws.
The writers, who include among others Ngügi wa Thiong'o, Enoh Meyomesse, Abdelaziz Baraka Sakin, Ahdaf Soueif, Tsitsi Dangarembga, and Ismaila Samba Traoré, have added their names to the petition highlighting their concerns about the use of defamation laws to silence critics.
Read the petition:
In English / En Francais
The petition is part of PEN’s campaign to push for the decriminalisation of defamation and insult laws, as such laws pose a serious barrier to freedom of expression. The petition was also presented to the Pan African Parliament in March and PEN Centres are presenting it at the national level. Watch PEN’s video to find out more about the campaign: