Against the backdrop of World Press Freedom Day commemorations in Ethiopia this year, the AFEX network is reminding African governments to actively promote and defend freedom of expression on the continent.
Tanzanian authorities prevented Dr. Wairagala Wakabi, executive director of CIPESA, from attending the commemoration of the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders’ Day when they arrested him upon arrival in the country and deported him back to Uganda several hours later.
The Annual Freedom of Expression Situation in Africa Report for 2018 highlights the high level of impunity on the continent for crimes against journalists, based on the 208 freedom of expression violations recorded during 2018 of which only 14 of the cases received remedial action.
At their annual general meeting held recently, AFEX discussed the increasing attacks on media freedoms and freedom of expression across the continent.
Member organisations of the AFEX together with regional and international organisations advocating for media freedom are calling on authorities in Mozambique to unconditionally release journalist Amade Abubacar who has been in jail since January this year.
AFEX welcomes the appeal sent by African Union Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression and access to information, Lawrence Mute, to President Idriss Deby on the social media blackout in Chad.
Four journalists have been arbitrarily arrested and detained since January 2019, another journalist sentenced to a year in prison while one media house has been suspended for critical reportage about state officials.
80 civil society organizations have signed a petition that calls for an immediate end to the blocking of social media platforms in Chad, in effect since March 2018.
African Freedom of Expression Exchange together with its member MiSA Zambia is calling on Zambia’s Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) to reconsider the decision to suspend Prime Television.
The Secretary General of Zambia’s ruling PF has barred Prime Television from covering any of its party activities, while supporters have assaulted 3 of the station’s reporters in separate incidents within a space of two weeks.
Members of the #KeepItOn coalition highlighted the need for the authorities to keep the Internet on as it is an enabler of other rights, including freedom of expression and access to information.
Governments are shutting down the internet while using brute force to silence their citizens.
AFEX denounces in particular, the use of lethal force against protesters resulting in the alleged killing of at least five persons with several reported injuries. AFEX has also received reports of arbitrary arrest and detention of protesters.
AFEX condemns the summoning of the Editor in Chief of Al Watan Arabic newspaper by South Sudan’s Media Authority, for publishing articles on on-going demonstrations in neighbouring Sudan.