Is located in Western Africa. Freedom of information declined sharply in 2015 amid President Mahamadou Issoufou efforts to pave the way for reelection and growing international efforts to combat terrorism. In January 2015, several news media were the targets of police violence for covering the Charlie Hebdo demonstrations . The run-up to the February 2016 presidential election was marked by arrests of journalists and obstruction of media activity. Access to social networks such as Facebook and WhatsApp and the sending of SMS messages were blocked for three days.
Official censorship generally does not take place in either the traditional or online media, though the High Commission for New Technology and Communication ordered the blocking of terrorist group websites in 2014. Self-censorship stems from the authorities’ use of intimidation or advertising incentives to shape content. Government critics receive little coverage in public media.
A heavy tax on private media hinders development of the private media sector, and public media receive the bulk of advertising from state-owned companies. In 2013, all eligible private media received support funds from the Fund for the Aid of the Press, encouraging the public service and democracy promotion functions of the press. At the end of 2014, President Issoufou announced a 25 percent increase for the fund. Considerable economic uncertainty has contributed to corruption within the media sector, leading to unethical behavior by journalists that can affect the quality and accuracy of reporting. Online speech is generally free, but internet access remained very sparse, reaching less than 2 percent of the population in 2014.
FIRST AMENDMENT to the U.S. Constitution
... middle of paper ...
...hink there will be democracy in this county can think so in another world,” he recently said. Eritrea has been ranked last in RSF press freedom index for the past eight years.
Eritrea systematically violates freedom of expression and information. It is Africa’s biggest prison for journalists, with at least 16 currently detained, some of them held isolated for years. In 2014 alone, Reporters Without Borders supported about 30 requests for international protection filed by Eritrean journalists who had fled their country. President Afeworki, who is on the Reporters Without Borders list of “Predators of Press Freedom,” does not consider reforms any time soon and continues to ignore the international community’s recommendations. In early 2014, he said: Those who think there will be democracy in this country can think so in another world.” (Reporters Without Borders, 2015)
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