Pambazuka News 536: Polluters and corporates: Stealing the commons

Reporters Without Borders says it is relieved to learn that six contributors to opposition radio station La Voix de Djibouti – Farah Abadid Hildid, Houssein Ahmed Farah, Houssein Robleh Dabar, Abdillahi Aden Ali, Moustapha Abdourahman Houssein and Mohamed Ibrahim Waïss – have been released after more than four months in Djibouti’s Gabode prison. After several appeals to Djibouti’s supreme court, an appeal court ruled on 22 June that they should be released conditionally and placed under judic...read more

The Sengalese president has dropped a controversial electoral law amid opposition protests in the capital, Dakar. The current law requires that a candidate be elected with a 50 per cent majority in the first round of voting to avoid facing a run-off. The draft law would reduce that number to only 25 per cent and create a position of vice-president, leaving Wade's rivals concerned that he has plans to bring his 42-year-old son, Karim, into power.

Judges at the UN court for Rwanda have sentenced a former Rwandan minister for women's affairs, to life in prison for genocide and incitement to rape. The ruling by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) means that Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, 65, is the first women to be ever convicted of genocide. She was found guilty on seven of the 11 genocide charges she faced for atrocities committed in Rwanda's southern Butare region in 1994.

The Sonke Gender Justice Network has welcomed Julius Malema’s court ordered apology to rape survivors, despite it being 15-months late. Malema, the ANC Youth League President, who had been sued by Sonke apologised to all women, particularly the woman known publicly only as Kwezi, who in 2006 accused then deputy president Jacob Zuma of rape. Malema told students in 2009 that Zuma’s accuser had had a 'nice time' because 'those who had a nice time will wait until the sun comes out, request break...read more

The African National Congress (ANC) bowed to pressure on the Protection of Information Bill and promised major concessions to bring the legislation in line with the Constitution. The ruling party agreed to restrict the power to classify, which it had previously sought to extend to all organs of state, to bodies dealing directly with security and to scrap mandatory prison sentences for leaking secret information.

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