Authorities in Burkina Faso arrested and detained an activist for his social media posting criticising the National Gendarmerie.
Burkinabe journalist Lohé Issa Konaté has been awarded US$70,000 in compensation for the injury he suffered following his conviction on criminal defamation charges and subsequent one-year detention in 2012.
Despite pressure, threats and attempts to silence them and to prevent them from freely exercising their work, Burkinabé journalists continue to broadcast credible and independent information.
Reporters Without Borders is alarmed by the situation in Burkina Faso, where the soldiers who staged a coup d’état yesterday have silenced most privately-owned radio and TV stations and are controlling the state-owned national TV broadcaster, RTB.
A county court in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, sentenced Boureima Ouédraogo, the managing editor of Le Reporter, to three months in prison over his reporting on a legal case.
On 5 June 2015, The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights ordered Burkina Faso’s authorities to “resume the investigations with a view to finding, charging and trying the perpetrators of the murders of Norbert Zongo and his three companions.”
Burkina Faso’s Higher Council for Communication’s communiqué said public health programmes and programmes of a recreational, sentimental or cultural nature were exempted from the ban “as long as they stayed within their subject.”
The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights decision in the case of journalist Issa Lohé Konaté sends a strong message that governments may not use severe criminal penalties to stifle public debate and reporting on matters of public interest.
In a landmark judgment on 5 December 2014, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights ruled that Burkina Faso violated the right to freedom of expression of Burkinabé journalist Issa Lohé Konaté.
Demonstrators protesting against a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow President Blaise Compaoré another term, stormed the state-owned national broadcaster, Radiodiffusion Télévision du Burkina.
The reasons for the burglary remain unknown, but many suspect that it is because of the work the newspaper outlet.
“The court held that the failure of a government to diligently seek and bring to account the persons responsible for the assassination of a journalist…violates the human rights of journalists, endangers truth and should not be allowed,” the Nigerian-based Guardian newspaper reported.
A large group of media and human rights organisations has successfully petitioned the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights for leave to act as amicus curiae, or friends of the court, in a case which raises the use of criminal defamation and insult laws to silence government critics.
On 28 July 2013, officers from the Burkinabe Police Unit attacked and fired teargas at large groups of opposition protesters who were demonstrating against the creation of a second senate in the National Assembly, the country’s legislative body.