Africa / 2012

Attacks on the Press in 2011: Zimbabwe

February 21, 2012 12:36 AM ET

Although official anti-press harassment continued a gradual decline from its peak after the disputed 2008 elections, a highly restrictive legal framework kept domestic, independent news sources to a mere handful. The fractious coalition between Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF and Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC failed to implement the media reforms they had...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Uganda

February 21, 2012 12:35 AM ET

Police and security agents engaged in widespread physical attacks on local and foreign journalists during the general election campaign and its aftermath. Incumbent President Yoweri Museveni was elected to a fourth term in the February vote, which was marred by reports of intimidation and vote-buying. Reporters covering opposition candidates...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: South Africa

February 21, 2012 12:34 AM ET

The ruling African National Congress bridled at news media scrutiny of its record on poverty, crime, and corruption, which raised concerns about the durability of post-apartheid democratic reforms. In June, the government announced a new policy to use state advertising expenditures to reward supportive media outlets. Members of the...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Somalia

February 21, 2012 12:33 AM ET

Local and international journalists faced persistent, deadly violence, with both targeted murders and crossfire killings reported. Four soldiers with the African Union peacekeeping mission fired on a Malaysian humanitarian aid convoy in September, killing one journalist and injuring another. The AU mission in Somalia suspended the soldiers and returned...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Rwanda

February 21, 2012 12:32 AM ET

Authorities pursued an aggressive legal assault against critical journalists, using laws that ban insults against public officials and abusing anti-genocide laws to silence independent voices. President Paul Kagame’s close relations with Western governments continued to shield him from criticism over his administration’s poor press freedom record. In February, a...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Malawi

February 21, 2012 12:31 AM ET

President Bingu wa Mutharika signed a penal code amendment that allowed the government to ban any publication it deemed “not in the public interest.” Authorities did not immediately use the new tactic, but local journalists said the law’s existence had created a chilling effect. Government officials also made use...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Ivory Coast

February 21, 2012 12:30 AM ET

After the disputed November 2010 presidential elections, incumbent Laurent Gbagbo and rival Alassane Ouattara, whom the United Nations recognized as the winner, waged a months-long struggle for power led by partisan media outlets. The fight was centered in the economic capital, Abidjan, where Gbagbo controlled the national media and...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Gambia

February 21, 2012 12:29 AM ET

Years of brutal repression by President Yahya Jammeh’s administration have gutted Gambia’s once-vibrant independent press and driven numerous journalists into exile. In August, the government forced Taranga FM, the last independent radio station airing news in local languages, to halt its coverage. The move came ahead of an October...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Equatorial Guinea

February 21, 2012 12:28 AM ET

News and information was tightly controlled in Equatorial Guinea, which CPJ identified as one of the world’s most censored nations. Nearly all news media were owned and run by the government or its allies. One independently owned newspaper circulated in the country, but had to practice self-censorship; no independent...

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Democratic Republic of the Congo

February 21, 2012 12:27 AM ET

Incumbent Joseph Kabila claimed victory in a November presidential election marred by widespread voting irregularities and a spike in attacks on news outlets. While international observers questioned the results, Kabila forces launched a crackdown on dissent. Attacks on the press were concentrated in the capital, Kinshasa, and surrounding Bas...

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