Central and Eastern Africa - Articles
By awarding Reyot Alemu with the 2013 Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize, UNESCO is recognizing the imprisoned journalist’s courage in the face of the Ethiopian government’s hostility towards press freedom.
Can a crowd-sourced map of election-related incidents help Kenya have a free and fair vote this month and prevent the level of violence that erupted after the 2007 elections?
A journalist in Ethiopia and another in Burundi are facing life behind bars after shocking verdicts in unrelated cases but with almost identical anti-terrorism charges, say IFEX members.
To protect the state-owned telecom provider, the Ethiopian government has introduced legislation that will make using online communication tools such as Skype punishable by up to 15 years in jail, report the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the International Press Institute (IPI) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
Following months of attacks on journalists, the head of the Ugandan police force has created a press unit that will receive and investigate complaints of press freedom violations, report the Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), ARTICLE 19 and Freedom House.
In the wake of recent fighting with South Sudan, IFEX spells out five key ways that Sudan has stepped up its crackdown on critics.
Ethiopian journalist Eskinder Nega and other activists accused of inciting terrorism could face the death penalty, report PEN American Center and other IFEX members, whom Nega has worked with. The case was heard in court on 11 May and postponed to 21 June.
The Sudanese authorities have resorted to bankrupting the media as a new way of silencing dissent, report the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the International Press Institute (IPI) and the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI).
At least four people were killed and scores were wounded, including seven journalists, when a bomb exploded at Somalia's national theatre at a ceremony to mark the one-year anniversary of Somali National Television, report ARTICLE 19 and Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
So far this year, a journalist has been killed each month in Somalia. And with one of the worst impunity records worldwide, it is likely the murderers will walk free, say the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) and other IFEX members, which are calling for urgent UN intervention.
In another sign of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's worsening repression, a U.S.-based journalist was sentenced to life in prison on anti-terrorism charges, while two other journalists were given heavy prison sentences, report the Ethiopian Free press Journalists' Association (EFJA), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the International Press Institute (IPI) and other IFEX members.
The director of the leading private radio and television network in southern Somalia was murdered last week, report the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) and other IFEX members. Hassan Osman Abdi, a senior journalist and director of Shabelle Media Network, was shot dead outside his home in Mogadishu on 28 January, after being followed by five men in a sedan, says NUSOJ.
Somalia's breakaway territory Somaliland has shut down a private television station it accuses of airing anti-government propaganda, and arrested 21 journalists who protested the move, report the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) and other IFEX members.
Ethiopia sentenced two Swedish journalists to 11 years in jail last week on charges of supporting terrorism after the pair illegally entered the country with a Somali rebel group, report IFEX's international members. Photojournalist Johan Persson and reporter Martin Schibbye were arrested by Ethiopian security forces in July during a gunfight between Ethiopian soldiers and rebels in the no-go region of Ogaden, and were put on trial in October.
A leading journalist who had recently reported receiving death threats was shot and killed on 18 December by an armed man in military uniform, reports the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), along with the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and other international IFEX members.
Just before a brutally violent and hotly contested election, Journaliste en danger (JED) condemned the lack of media standards and inaction by DRC's broadcast regulatory that have contributed to massive divisions in the country.
Charles Ingabire, the Rwandan exiled editor of the online publication "Inyenyeri", was shot dead by one or more unknown gunmen in a vehicle at a bar in Kampala, Uganda on 30 November, report the Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) and other IFEX members. As "Inyeyeri" is highly critical of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, it is believed the early morning shooting - which killed Ingabire instantly - was carried out as a punishment for Ingabire's writings.
Journalists are courageously defying a government order not to report on the Gatumba shooting massacre that left more than 35 people dead in Burundi last month, report the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF). It appears to be part of a pattern of censorship.
An Ethiopian journalist was forced to flee the country earlier this month after being named in a WikiLeaks cable - the first time a leaked cable has caused direct repercussions for a journalist, says the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). His case is part of a broadening crackdown on dissent in Ethiopia, say CPJ and other IFEX members.
. . .
IFEX has raised alarm bells to President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo about the safety of staff at its own member group Journaliste en danger (JED). Late last month, Donat M'Baya Tshimanga, president of JED, and secretary-general Tshivis Tshivuadi, received death threats in an email from what looks to be a supporter of the ruling party, warning that they should be ready for the "final battle." The intimidation is a sign of what's to come in the run-up to the presidential elections on 28 November, says IFEX.