African Civic Freedoms Declined in 2020

With more elections on the cards in 2021 - in Djbouti, Chad and Somalia among others - African governments should prioritise the respect of fundamental freedoms, including the right of people to express themselves without intimidation and to assemble peacefully to express their dissent, write Sylvia Mbataru and Ine Van Severen.

The most common violations of civic space registered by the CIVICUS Monitor were the detention of journalists, followed by disruption of protests, censorship, intimidation and the detention of protestors. Almost half of CIVICUS Monitor updates in 28 different countries mentioned the detention of journalists.

Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa in which journalists were detained in 2020. In a number of countries, including Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda and Somalia, journalists were detained and arrested for reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic or for violating lockdown regulations.


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