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Monday, June 17, 2024

West Africa: First Quarter 2024 – Senegal’s Political Troubles, Nigeria’s Cybercrime Legislation Set off Large Repression

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In lots of West African nations, the struggle for press freedom and freedom of expression nonetheless faces vital obstacles. Governments and highly effective people use a wide range of measures to manage the narrative and crush dissent.

A complete of thirty-nine (39) incidents of freedom of expression violations had been recorded, with Nigeria recording 13 (13) violations, the best variety of violations throughout the quarter. The continued freedom of expression repression in Nigeria is especially regarding, on condition that President Tinubu promised in December 2023 to guard press freedom and to encourage divergent public discourse.

As normal, the nation’s Cybercrime Legislation 2015 has been on the coronary heart of the repression. On the occasion of highly effective people who find themselves irritated at on-line publications about them, safety brokers go after journalists and residents, accusing them of committing cybercrime over their crucial publications or social media posts.

In a single incident, Salihu Ayatullahi, the editor of the net information portal Informant247, and Adisa-Jaji Azeez, the managing editor, had been arrested and charged with disseminating a deceptive report on the rector of a public Polytechnic.

Senegal adopted Nigeria with seven (7) violations, which had been largely triggered by the political tensions that adopted the shock postponement of the nation’s presidential elections initially scheduled for February 2024. Among the many worst violations recorded within the nation had been cellular web restrictions and a brutal crackdown on protests that resulted in not less than three deaths and several other arrests.

Two junta-ruled nations, Guinea and Mali, recorded six (6) and 4 (4) violations respectively, whereas Burkina Faso and Niger, the opposite two military-ruled nations, witnessed a hiatus after a repressive finish to 2023.

Whereas Guinea-Bissau Bissau recorded a single incident, it was notably extreme; the federal government outlawed all public protests and marches nationwide over purported safety issues.

No less than 9 journalists had been arrested in Conakry, Guinea’s capital metropolis, throughout a crackdown on a protest which had been known as by the Syndicat des Professionnels de la Presse de Guinée (SPPG) to demand an finish to web restriction and the jamming of a number of broadcast channels.

The media regulatory our bodies proceed to be highly effective censorship instruments, with the Haute autorité de la communication (HAC) of Mali, suspending French channel France 2 was from Malian tv channels. The four-month suspension got here after the printed of a report on the safety state of affairs in Mali following the departure of the French navy drive Barkhane.