Maendeleo madogo katika kuendeleza Uhuru wa Vyombo vya Habari na Uhuru wa Kujieleza yamefutwa na baadhi ya Sheria kandamizi

Miss Zomboko

JF-Expert Member
May 18, 2014
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Uvunjaji wa Uhuru wa Vyombo vya Habari ni jambo la kawaida katika Bara la Afrika ikijumuisha Ukandamizaji hasa kwenye Mtandao, kukamatwa kwa Waandishi, na vitendo vya Ukatili dhidi ya Wafanyakazi wa Vyombo vya habari ambavyo kawaida havichukuliwi hatua za Kisheria.

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The media in Africa continues to face serious challenges in the execution of its work. The minimal progress in the advancement of press freedom and freedom of expression on the continent has been whitewashed by legislation and actions by some states that continue to hinder the development of a professional and independent media.

According to the World Press Freedom Index 2021, the situation in 23 of 48 African countries assessed is classified as bad or very bad. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) notes that press freedom violations are common on the continent and they include arbitrary censorship, especially on the internet, arrests of journalists on the grounds of combatting cybercrime, fake news or terrorism, and acts of violence against media personnel that usually go completely unpunished.

Many areas of journalistic practice have been criminalised, with the adoption of cybercrime laws that prohibit the publication of false news or news deemed to threaten national security or public health, in countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania. In Egypt, cybercrime laws grant investigating authorities power to block or suspend locally-based or foreign websites featuring content that is deemed harmful to national security or the national economy.

In 2021, 75 African journalists4 had been imprisoned or detained by their governments in 12 countries. These violations are aggravated by attacks on individual journalists, including extra-judicial killings, forced disappearances and imprisonment, with incidents recorded in Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, Morocco, Rwanda and Somalia.

Moreoever, in its 2019 Global Impunity Index, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) ranked Somalia as the world’s worst country for the fifth year in a row, with respect to the prosecution of murderers of journalists. Likewise, South Sudan and Nigeria are listed among the 13 countries with the reputation of having the worst record in terms of prosecuting those who kill journalists because of their work.

The upward trajectory of these infringements is worrying because the prospect of attacks, prosecution and even death impacts on the media’s ability to operate effectively as their safety is compromised. Consequently, it becomes difficult for the media to competently play their roles as watchdogs and providers of credible information, which is essential for the functioning of democratic societies.

According to Freedom House’s Freedom of the World Report 2020, only seven countries in Sub-Saharan Africa were in the Free category - the lowest figure since 1991. Furthermore, only nine percent of the people in Sub-Saharan Africa lived in ‘Free’ countries, compared to 11% the previous year. However, the number of countries categorised as ‘Not Free’ was also dwindling, further bolstering the Partly Free bloc.


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