Problems in South Africa's Criminal Justice System Topic of NPC Newsmakers News Conference

May 14, 2014, 10:22 ET from National Press Club

WASHINGTON, May 14, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With global attention focused on the Oscar Pistorius trial, criminal justice advocates in South Africa are concerned that the plight of hundreds of thousands of people locked up for long periods in the country's prisons while they await trial is being overlooked.

Nooshin Erfani-Ghadimi, project coordinator of the Wits Justice Project, will speak about problems in the South African criminal and prison systems at a National Press Club Newsmakers news conference at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 21, in the club's Bloomberg Room.

The Wits Justice Project, a program of the journalism department of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, was started in 2008 to investigate systemic problems in South Africa's criminal justice system.

Erfani-Ghadimi, the project coordinator since 2012, will address the organization's efforts to "creatively and effectively combine the use of journalism, advocacy, law and education to achieve its mission" of improving the criminal justice system in South Africa.

According to the project, "a third of the South African prison population is locked up awaiting trial, many for years. Yet approximately two out of five of these people will eventually be acquitted.  This means that a staggering number of innocent people are being deprived of their freedom."

Like all Newsmaker events, this news conference is open to credentialed media and National Press Club members. It is free of charge, and no advance registration is necessary.

The National Press Club is located on the 13th Floor of the National Press Building at 529 14th St. NW, Washington DC, 20045.

This Newsmakers news conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 in the club's Bloomberg Room, on the 13th Floor of the National Press Building at 529 14th St. NW, Washington DC, 20045. 


Myron Belkind, National Press Club President, 
Herb Perone, Newsmakers Committee Chair,

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SOURCE National Press Club