Know The Law, Know Your Rights

Your Right to Freedom of Expression

Article 29 (1) (a) provides that every person shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression which shall include freedom of the press and other media

This right has also been recognised under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and also in Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights & Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights. These have also defined broadly what this right entails;

So what is the freedom of expression?

Article 19 of the UDHR states that “everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference” and “everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice“.

This right includes the freedom of the press and media which provides that communication and expression through various media, including printed and electronic media, especially published materials, should be considered a right to be exercised freely.

“Freedom of expression underpins all other human rights and freedoms. Individuals must be free to exercise their rights to think, form an opinion, freely seek, receive and impart ideas and opinions, in order for them to effectively realise all their other human rights that are prerequisite for their human dignity.

It also enables individuals in society to participate in matters that concern them. Such participation in decision-making promotes democracy