July 28, 2021--The Honourable Minister of Communications, Science and Technology (MCST) Honourable Tsóinyana Rapapa officiated at the opening of Safety and Security of Journalists Seminar held at Thaba-Bosiu Village starting today.
In his remarks, the Minister said Journalists may have experienced working under repressive conditions where they are not free to express their opinion as a result face threats that include murder, kidnapping, hostage-taking, offline and online harassment, intimidation, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention and or torture.
Therefore, he stated that sustainable Governments are those that uphold human rights and bear the fundamental responsibility to ensure that journalists are free to practice their profession without interference or reprisal by authorities, thus combating violence against journalists, investigate and prosecute violence against journalists, regardless of the status of the perpetrator within the society.
Honourable Rapapa said Lesotho is a member of SADC and remains committed to aligning to sustainable development by recognising the role of journalists in promoting regional integration and development.
He took note of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA Lesotho) in forging for rights, protection and welfare of the journalists thus far. Additionally, he pointed out the importance of the seminar in exploring solutions that may bring the Government, private sector and media sector towards working together in addressing this bad behaviour
Presentations at the seminar will revolve around media, security agencies, Law Society of Lesotho, communication componies, LGBTI community, youth and disability organisations. The seminar has been organised by MISA under the leadership of National Director, Mr. Lekhetho Makhanya Ntsukunyana.
Key objectives of the seminar include taking stalk of recent activities that are unfavourable to free press and independence of the media, as well as the right to freedom of expression as enshrined in the Constitution of Lesotho.