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The coalition of Southern African journalism organisations in Gaborone this week, led by the Botswana Editors’ Forum (BEF), to investigate the country’s controversial new Criminal Procedure and Evidence Bill, has welcomed the Botswana government’s amendments to the Bill.

The government released amendments which reinstated judicial oversight over surveillance, interceptions and seizures. It also criminalized the abuse of these powers and introduced a new committee, headed by a judge and with extensive powers, that will oversee undercover investigations.

The coalition of organisations representing journalists across the SADC region gathered in Gaborone at the invitation of BEF. It came in response to the government’s plan to push through parliament a law that would have threatened the work of journalists and the country’s media freedom and free expression.