Freedom of expression under apartheid
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Over the past decades, transitions from repressive rule to democracy have increased all over the world, aiming at establishing disclosure and accountability for the crimes perpetrated. One way of assessing the “solidity” of these new democracies is to look at their provisions on freedom of expression, one of the most precious and fragile rights of man. The right to freedom of expression was recognised by classical traditional liberal theory as from the eighteenth century. It considered it as a useful tool to enhance true statements within the marketplace of ideas. Liberals also believed that such right was a prerequisite for individual autonomy and self-fulfillment. They claimed that it strengthened democracy, by allowing individuals to receive all information on issues of public concern which they needed to vote intelligently. Lastly, they argued that it promoted the ideal of tolerance. Since then, the right to freedom of expression has been considered a cornerstone of democracy and protected as such by international instruments among which the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966, the African Charter for Human and Peoples' Rights of 1981 and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of 1950.