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REGIONS:

22 AFRICAN COUNTRIES AT AFRICA-EUROPE SUMMIT VIOLATE PRESS FREEDOMS

Of the 53 African nations that participated in the first Africa-Europe summit, 22 do not respect press freedoms, states Reporters sans frontières (RSF). These countries are: Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Libya, Mauritania, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Swaziland, Togo, Tunisia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. While the countries have varying degrees of violations, all of their governments share "the fact that they do not respect the African Charter for Human and Peoples' Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights" and yet they have each signed and ratified at least one of these agreements, emphasises RSF. Since 1 January 1999, 15 journalists have been murdered and more than 150 journalists have been arrested in the aforementioned countries.

RSF calls on the heads of states and governments from the 15 member countries of the European Union "to ensure that press freedom should be effectively taken into account in any future cooperation agreements between the EU and African countries." Further information can be obtained by contacting Jean-François Julliard or Virginie Locussol at RSF, rue Geoffroy Marie, Paris 75009, France; Tel: +33 1 44 83 84 84; Fax: +33 1 45 23 11 51; E-mail:
afrique@rsf.fr; Internet:
http://www.rsf.fr.">#">http://www.rsf.fr.

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