Is Public Comment Now Considered To Be Terrorism?
Pay attention. Laws like this may be coming soon to your nation, state, province, county or city. THIS ATTEMPT TO IMPOSE TYRANNY MUST BE STOPPED NOW.
CLICK HERE to take action IMMEDIATELY
Please listen to the audios and watch the video below…
It’s a very problematic bill… a great example of government overreach… anybody who is outspoken against the government, or its policies, can be listed as a terrorist…
It encroaches on personal freedoms and human rights by curbing freedom of expression and association, a problem for investigative journalism… non-profit organisations… and individuals who send in petitions…
Rob Hutchinson, Chairperson - Dear SA
The Bill seeks to:
provide for offences related to terrorist training and the joining and establishment of terrorist organisations;
provide for offences related to foreign travel and attempt to leave the Republic under certain circumstances;
provide for offences in respect of the possession and distribution of publications with unlawful terrorism related content;
provide for authorisation to be obtained from the Director of Public Prosecutions in respect of the investigation and prosecution of certain offences;
provide for the issuing of warrants for the search and cordoning off of vehicles, persons and premises;
provide for a direction requiring the disclosure of a decryption key and the effect of a direction to disclose a decryption key;
provide for the removal of, or making inaccessible, publications with unlawful terrorism related content; and to provide for matters connected therewith.
CLICK HERE to download the Proposed Legislation
CLICK HERE to download a Summary of the Proposed Legislation
CLICK HERE to download a Schedule of Laws Amended or Repealed
YES, people who reside outside of South Africa can comment:
CLICK HERE to take action IMMEDIATELY
AfriForum provided an easy to understand summary:
In brief, AfriForum does not substantively question the means by which the first and second objectives are to be achieved with the Amendment. It is the third objective which has been inexpertly executed and thereby dooms the proposed measures to legal review and scrutiny should they be passed. There is a glaring discrepancy between those provisions intended to update the core of the Act, and those which are intended to expand the state’s police powers. The latter apparently have been tacked-on as an afterthought and not properly considered. The following sections are thus impugned and should be reconsidered and/or severed from the Amendment on grounds of necessity, practical workability, and unconstitutionality:
5.1 Amendment of certain definitions as captured in section 1:
184.108.40.206 The section was already overbroad and vague. The expansion thereof has exacerbated the problem.
5.1.2 “Terrorist activity”
220.127.116.11 The addition of 1(b)(iv), to wit, “can reasonably be regarded as being intended, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, to… further the objectives of an entity engaged in terrorist activity”, further complicates an already notoriously contested definition.
18.104.22.168 ‘Reasonably be regarded’ unacceptably introduces negligence as a form of mens rea for committing terrorist offences.
22.214.171.124 This is legally imprecise for purposes of criminal law and is a common issue with anti-terrorism legislation globally.
5.2 Insertion of clause 3A Prohibition of publication with unlawful terrorism related content
5.2.1 Unjustifiably violates rights to freedom of expression, association, and conscience.
5.2.2 Vulnerable to disproportionate, arbitrary, discretionary abuse.
5.2.3 Overbroad definition and form of intent violates principle of legality.
5.3 Insertion of clause 4A Offence relating to attempt to leave the Republic
5.3.1 Unjustifiable violation of freedom of movement and unnecessary duplication of pre-existing offence captured in other legislation.
5.4 Amendment of s23(2)(a) Freezing Orders – “reasonable grounds’
5.4.1 ‘Reasonably be regarded’ introduces a form of negligence as sufficient mens rea for criminal liability – see above. Overextends the power of police officials.
5.4.2 Likely to lead to complex litigation.
5.4.3 Soon to be dealt with in specialist amendments to FICA.
5.5 Insertion of s24A & s24B Application for Decryption Direction & Order to Disable Access to Internet or Social Media Site
5.5.1 Potential for abuse as seen with RICA legislation.
5.5.2 Potentially unjustifiable violation of the right to privacy, given nebulous definition of ‘terrorist activity’ and relaxed burden of proof.
5.5.3 Impractical as it duplicates similar but tempered processes already tested and accepted by judiciary.
5.5.4 Likely to lead to litigation.
5.6 Repeal of s26 Parliamentary supervision
5.6.1 Unjustifiable violation of separation of powers doctrine. S26A of Financial Intelligence Centre Act makes no provision for tabling of announcement/designation in Parliament.
6. A comprehensive, individualised analysis of each of the abovementioned aspects of these proposals is beyond the scope of this submission. AfriForum intends to deal with those elements of these proposals which are common to them all under separate headings herein below.
7. The Protection Of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist And Related Activities Act (“POCDATARA”) has not been frequently utilised and consequently has not been frequently tested for Constitutional compliance.
8. Legal scholars have however long indicated that the Act is long, complex, overbroad, and vague in several worryingly material respects, at times going further than even United States anti-terror legislation and the Internal Security Act employed by the Apartheid regime to quell dissent and commit atrocities.
9. This fact must necessarily be borne in mind by the legislature which seeks to extend and strengthen the state’s powers in terms of the Act.
CLICK HERE to download the AfriForum Letter
Regulating Freedom of Expression Amidst the Covid-19 Response in South Africa
by James Roguski
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