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Parliament approves secrecy bill

Nov 22 2011 15:40 Reuters

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Cape Town - Parliament on Tuesday passed a bill aimed at protecting state secrets that has been widely criticised as an attempt to muzzle media and intimidate whistleblowers, with stiff prison sentences for releasing classified documents.

The protection of information bill allows any government agency to apply for classification of information that is "valuable" to the state, and criminalises the possession and distribution of state secrets.

Critics say the bill makes it easy to hide graft from public view and intimidates those who try to expose it.

 
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