Southern Africa: Freedom of Speech Indeed - Jailers of Journalists in the Sub-Saharan African

11 December 2019

Egypt, Eritrea, and Cameroon are among the worst nations in the world for jailing journalists, a list published on Wednesday by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said.

The CPJ listed 26 journalists jailed in Egypt - most of whom it says are grouped in mass trials and charged with both terror offenses and false news.

Specifically, several of the new arrests in Egypt came ahead of protests against army corruption on 19 September, which included calls for President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to resign, said the CPJ.

The Africa programs co-ordinator for the CPJ tweeted that Eritrea topped the list of most journalists jailed in sub-Saharan countries.

The CPJ said previously that most of the journalists in prison in Eritrea have been jailed since a crackdown in 2001 when the government shut down all independent media.

Cameroon also comes near the top of the list, with seven detained journalists. One of the seven, Mancho Bibixy, is serving a 15-year sentence on anti-state charges and false news which the CPJ says is in relation to his campaigning for greater autonomy for the English-speaking minority in Cameroon, gathered from BBC and Twitter.

In Sub-Saharan Africa 39 journalists are in jail in connection to their work.

Eritrea - 16

Cameroon - 7

Burundi- 4

Rwanda-4

Nigeria - 1

Chad - 1

Comoros - 1

DRC - 1

South Sudan - 1

Ethiopia - 1

Tanzania - 1

Somalia - 1

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