Outspoken Attorney at Law, Mary Francis, has urged the local media to stand firm in the face of threats of legal action.
Francis told the Times it appears that persons will go all out to defend their reputations since there is a lot at stake in an election year.
“The media have to be bold and stand up for human rights and the right of freedom of expression which is important to a democratic society,” she asserted.
The Coordinator of the National Centre for Legal Aid and Human Rights told the Times in an exclusive interview that while the media must play their role, persons have a right not to have their reputations assailed.
She acknowledged that at times the media have to walk a tightrope.
“In certain cases if they are depending on the defense of justification and truth sometimes getting the evidence to prove what is being said can be a hurdle,” Francis noted.
The Human Rights Activist said while people have a right to seek redress in the courts if their reputation is being damaged, the media also have to stand up where it counts.
Francis comments have come against the backdrop of the continuing debate over sexual violence in the society, assertions that persons in high office have been accused of such behavior and threats of legal action over those assertions.
She said not only the media, but the entire society must raise its voice on the issue of sexual violence against women.