Since its foundation in 1992, the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) has been the primary advocate for media freedom and freedom of expression in southern Africa, issuing alerts on media freedom violations, condemnations of killings, assaults, criminal charges and other forms of unjustified attacks on journalists, including restrictions on access to information.
Each year, MISA produces So This Is Democracy?: State of media freedom in Southern Africa, based on this daily monitoring and other research and analysis gathered in the 11 Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries where MISA operates.
For this 20th edition of So This Is the Democracy? the disturbing but relevant theme is ‘media behind bars’, due to the many cases MISA recorded in 2013 of authorities arresting journalists, often without a clear reason and then detaining them, interrogating them, and confiscating their equipment and materials.
Another disturbing trend is the rise of physical attacks on media workers, which have continued to increase in the region since 2012.
MISA remains committed to achieving media freedom and freedom of expression in Southern Africa and will continue to bring violations such as these to light and fight for perpetrators to be held accountable.