n African Human Rights Law Journal - Digital activism and free expression in Uganda

Volume 19 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1609-073X
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2096



In recent years in Africa there has been increasing use of digital technologies in terms of political and social activism. In Uganda this takes the form of text messaging, social media activism, blogging and, in some cases, hacktivism. This article examines digital activism in Uganda in light of the guarantee of freedom of expression under international instruments and the Ugandan Constitution. The article begins with an analysis of international and regional instruments that buttress digital activism through their enunciations regarding freedom of expression. The article then takes a critical look at a number of laws, such as the Computer Misuse Act, the Anti-Terrorism Act and the Regulation of Interception of Communications Act, that directly or indirectly restrict digital activism. The article argues that for free expression to be fully exercised in the online environment, laws and policies with provisions in conflict with the Constitution and international instruments will have to be amended or abolished.

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