CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Mohamed Keita

Mohamed Keita is advocacy coordinator for CPJ's Africa Program. Keita has written about independent journalism and development in sub-Saharan Africa for publications including The New York Times and Africa Review, and has appeared on NPR, the BBC, Al-Jazeera, and Radio France Internationale. Keita has also given presentations on press freedom at the World Bank, U.S. State Department, and universities. Follow him on Twitter: @africamedia_CPJ.

2011


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Solomon Abera, who voiced end of Eritrean free press, dies

December 2, 2011 5:12 PM ET

The name Solomon Abera will forever be etched in the collective memory of Eritrea's press corps. On September 18, 2001, as the world focused its attention on the terrorist attacks on the United States, the government of Eritrea borrowed Abera's voice to sound the death knell, on state-controlled airwaves,...

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Gambia VP touts tourism, downplays human rights issues

September 21, 2011 3:26 PM ET

The Gambia has an image problem: Dubbed the "Smiling Coast of Africa," it is a tourist destination, but its government has one of the region's worst records of human rights abuses. On Tuesday, at an African tourism promotion event in New York City, Gambian Vice-President Isatou Njie-Saidy headed a...

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DRC journalists urge ruling party to halt abuse

August 29, 2011 3:12 PM ET

An estimated 200 Congolese journalists marched to the National Assembly in Kinshasa on Friday to show their outrage over reports that supporters of incumbent President Joseph Kabila have physically and verbally abused members of the press. ...

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Burundi's journalists and lawyers face intense harassment

August 11, 2011 3:36 PM ET

It's possible that no journalist in the world has received more court summonses in recent weeks than Editor Bob Rugurika of Burundi's Radio Publique Africaine (RPA), a station founded by CPJ award-winner Alexis Sinduhije.On Tuesday, for the fifth time since July 18, Rugurika was interrogated by a magistrate in...

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Togo journalists protest purported security threats

August 9, 2011 2:14 PM ET

Dozens of Togolese journalists marched in the capital, Lomé, on Saturday to call attention to reported allegations that government security agents planned to retaliate against critical reporters. The allegations themselves are in dispute--the government called them "fabricated"--but they are set against a recent U.N. report expressing concern over the...

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Guinea's censorship order puts RFI in difficult spot

July 28, 2011 6:01 PM ET

On Monday, Guinea's state-controlled media regulatory agency imposed a "temporary" ban on media coverage of the July 19 attack on the private residence of President Alpha Condé, silencing private radio and television talk programs in which critical questions were being raised about the episode. In such circumstances, Guinean listeners...

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UNHCHR grills Ethiopia on anti-terror law

July 15, 2011 2:32 PM ET

This week, the Human Rights Committee of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights reviewed Ethiopia's compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, including its press freedom record. Peppered with questions about an indefensible record of abuse--jailing the second largest number of journalists in Africa and...

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Mission Journal: Politics influence justice in Senegal

June 24, 2011 1:52 PM ET

Senegalese journalists say justice is not on their side when they are victims of abuse by powerful officials or security forces. I met recently in Dakar with journalists targeted with criminal acts in apparent reprisal for their work. In these two high-profile cases, CPJ has found evidence of political...

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In Ethiopia, anti-terrorism law chills reporting on security

June 24, 2011 11:02 AM ET

How can an Ethiopian reporter cover the activities of Ethiopia's leading opposition figure, Berhanu Nega, or an attack by the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) rebels without risking prosecution and a 20-year prison sentence? Such questions have haunted Ethiopian journalists since a far-reaching anti-terrorism law came into effect in...

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Rwanda's Kagame and journalist get into Twitter spat

May 16, 2011 2:29 PM ET

President Paul Kagame is a leader who draws sharply divided opinions--praise from some for rebuilding Rwanda after the 1994 genocide and criticism from others over a record of repression of dissent and the press. On Saturday, a tweet critical of Kagame by British columnist Ian Birrell sparked a heated...

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Cameroon soccer star Samuel Eto'o lashes out at reporter

March 30, 2011 5:34 PM ET

Journalists: Beware of questioning the performance of Cameroonian international soccer superstar Samuel Eto'o on the field. The act could result in a head butt--as reporter Philippe Boney experienced in 2008--or in rough words, as a Senegalese reporter experienced in a postgame press conference on Saturday. ...

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At NYU, South Africa's Motlanthe defends press policies

March 29, 2011 3:11 PM ET

On Monday, in a public lecture at New York University, South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe described as irreversible the democratic gains made since the end of apartheid, including the advancement of press freedom. "We have a constitution which guarantees basic human rights such as freedom of association, freedom...

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Jammeh to news media: I set limits on press freedom

March 23, 2011 12:55 PM ET

Last week, Gambian President Yahya Jammeh participated in a rare meeting with select members of the West African nation's press corps. Jammeh spoke in favor of access to public information. He announced that he would allow The Standard newspaper to resume publication, five months after the National Intelligence Agency...

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Killer of DRC technician said to wear police uniform

March 16, 2011 2:18 PM ET

Hardy Kazadi Ilunga was just 21. A technician with the private station Radio-Télévision Mosaïque in the southern Democratic Republic of Congo town of Likasi, he was murdered late Saturday by a gunman apparently wearing a police uniform, according to the Congolese press freedom group OLPA and local journalists. ...

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Fearing Egypt-style revolt, Cameroon bars Twitter service

March 14, 2011 12:56 PM ET

"For security reasons, the government of Cameroon requests the suspension of the Twitter sms integration on the network," announced a March 8 tweet by Bouba Kaélé, marketing manager of the Cameroon unit of South Africa-based telecommunications provider MTN. The announcement has since disappeared from Kaélé's Twitter feed, but was memorialized...

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Sub-Saharan Africa censors Mideast protests

February 18, 2011 4:08 PM ET

As news of Middle Eastern and North African protests swirl around the globe, satellite television and the Internet prove vital sources of information for Africans as governments fearful of an informed citizenry and a free press such as in Eritrea, Equatorial Guinea, and Zimbabwe impose total news blackouts on...

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In Gabon, faux news draws real censorship

February 1, 2011 11:18 AM ET

Last week, Gabon's government-controlled National Communications Council ordered the TV station of opposition leader André Mba Obame off the air for a period of three months. The ruling is without appeal and, typically, this is how authorities in this oil-rich equatorial African state silence critical news outlets. Except that, this...

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The struggle continues for power, and media, in Ivory Coast

January 10, 2011 6:01 PM ET

In Ivory Coast, the tense post-election dispute between incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo and rival and self-proclaimed president-elect Alassane Ouattara is a power struggle for control of national institutions--including the sole state media outlet, Radiodiffusion Télévision Ivoirienne (RTI)....

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