Sector 1:

Freedom of expression, including freedom of the
media, are effectively protected and promoted.

Freedom of expression, including freedom of the media, is
guaranteed in the constitution and protected by other
pieces of legislation

Section 12 (1) of the Botswana Constitution states that “except
with his consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of
his freedom of expression, freedom to hold opinions without interference, freedom to receive ideas and information without interference, freedom to communicate ideas and information without
interference and freedom from interference with his correspondence.” It is therefore assumed that freedom of the media is also
guaranteed by the constitution, in line with a High Court judgment
that acknowledges that the freedom of expression clause in the
constitution includes freedom of the media and that this is similar
to Article 10 of the European Union Convention on Human Rights.
While there are general guarantees for freedom of expression in the
constitution, there are also a number of legal restrictions and exemptions which limit these rights and freedoms in the name of national security, to protect the rights of other people, to protect the
freedom of civil servants to perform their duties and where public
order is threatened. There is concern, therefore, over whether the
constitutional provisions do indeed provide sufficient protection for
the right to freedom of expression and whether all the exemptions
do indeed serve a legitimate interest and can be deemed necessary
in a democratic society.
Among the laws which make it difficult for the Botswana media to
African Media Barometer - Botswana 2007


Select target paragraph3