Chad press law warns huge fines against freedom of expression
Chad, also known as Republic of Chad, is a popular country in Central Africa, bordered by Sudan, Libya, the Central African Republic, Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon. The constitution of the country has empowered everyone with the freedom of expression, but some authorities have used legal provinces to forbid crucial reporting. There are strict rules for media people as the high authorities wants to maintain the unity of the nation. The media regulatory body of Chad, High Council of Communication (HCC), banned all false reporting by reporters. HCC has passed a bill that states that no media can publish false news related to ethnic hatred, tactile and condoning violence.
Publishers and journalists risked harassment as they are required to monitor their activities when publishing articles. In Africa, there is a freedom on the circulation of private newspapers, but permission from HCC is required. They do not have much impact on the illiterate and rural population. A lot of publishers and journalists opposed the law that states a huge fine in case of any false publication. In a meeting held for “Code of Ethics of the Journalist”, the vice president of HCC reminded journalists that their right of expression is monitored by the Constitution of Chad and other governing authorities.
The law favours reporters with good code of conduct, those with clear understanding of their duties and responsibilities while working in press (presse). The high authorities stated that, journalism is a noble profession and nobody can do it with humiliation, insult, rumors and cartoons. The media is also not allowed to take bribe, otherwise heavy penalties and imprisonment will be waiting. The representatives of the Minister of Information and Communication, said that freedom of the media should be based on two principles, the first is the publisher’s own codes of conduct and ethics and second the laws imposed by the government.
The Union of Chadian Journalists awaits the announced revision of the passed media law after the Ruling party MPS met in convention. The journalists believe that the proposed law or amendment is draconian or harsh as it solely aims to silence the journalists. They criticized the passed bill and want that government should think at the amendment again. For years, the country is experiencing ethnic warlords and now comes in highlight for its newly passed media loss against freedom of expression.
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