Resource centre: Media laws, cases and analyses
The legal environment and free expression
Laws can help citizens exercise their right to free expression – for example, access to information laws or national constitutions guaranteeing the right to freedom of expression and freedom of information.
Laws can also be used to restrict free expression and media freedom. For example, governments and private citizens may use defamation and libel laws to prosecute media workers and citizens for speaking out about injustices. Governments and public institutions may also use privacy and security laws to restrict access to public information.
Database of legislation and case law affecting free expression in Lesotho
Legislation refers to laws (called Acts or Statutes) enacted by parliament, while case law is law based on the reported decisions of judges in cases that come before them. In their decisions, judges give the relevant facts of the case and the legal reasoning they applied to reach their decision.
Section 156: the following conduct by a prison officer is an offence: communicating .... with the Press on any matter which may have become know to him in the course of his public duties; publishing ...
The act prevents criticism of government; permits bringing journalists before judges on charges of seditious libel and makes it almost impossible for journalists to protect their sources.