Violations

PRESS RELEASE: Tanzania Should Immediately Release Digital Rights Activist Maxence Melo

By CIPESA Writer |

The police in Tanzania has detained Maxence Melo, a freedom of expression activist and co-founder of the popular online discussion platform, Jamii Forums. Although no charges have been brought against Melo, who was arrested at 1pm on Tuesday, December 13, his lawyer says the detention is an intimidation tactic on the backdrop of an ongoing case before…

Somalia: Journalists Arrested, Radio Station Closed in Crackdown on Media Freedom

Two journalists were arrested and one private radio station was closed on 9 July in Somalia.
The International Federation of Journalists and its affiliate the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) has called on the authorities to immediately free the journalists and lift the ban on City FM, a radio station in the Middle Shabelle region.

The regional administration ordered the arrest…

Zimbabwe Becomes the Latest Country to Shut Down Social Media

By Juliet Nanfuka |

Less than a week after the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council declared that online rights must be protected and condemned disruptions to internet access, citizens in Zimbabwe became the latest victims of online communications shut down. Authorities in Zimbabwe shut down communications in the wake of protests against rampant corruption and misuse of state funds by…

Social Media Activist Sentenced for Facebook Comment

Abdoul Moumouni Ousmane, a social media and civil society activist in Niger, has been given a six month suspended sentence by a High Court in Niamey for criticising the government’s response to the Boko Haram insurgency in the country via Facebook.

The court also imposed a fine of fifty thousand Francs (about 100 dollars) on Abdoul Moumouni, who is also the…

Man to Pay Sh7m Fine for Magufuli Facebook Insult

By Bertha Ismail| @TheCitizenTz,

Arusha — A 40-year-old man has been sentenced to three years in jail or pay a fine of Sh7 million after he was found guilty of insulting President John Magufuli on his Facebook page.
The Arusha Resident Magistrate’s Court convicted Issac Abakuki on Wednesday after he admitted committing the offence.

Is Tanzania Becoming an Internet Freedom Predator?

By Juliet Nanfuka |

Tanzania appears to be steadily sliding into a predator of critical social media users, as state authorities continue to arrest and prosecute users for expressing what many see as legitimate opinions. In recent months, the country’s newly elected government has used  a controversial new law  to prosecute at least seven social media users, in spite of  constitutional…

Tanzania’s Cybercrime Act Makes It Dangerous to “Insult” the President on Facebook

By Ndesanjo Macha,

Tanzanian netizen Isaac Habakuk Emily, who hails from the Arusha region in the north of the African nation, appeared in court on April 15, 2016 on charges of “insulting” the country’s president, John Magufuli. Emily’s statements are allegedly contrary to Section 16 of Tanzania’s Cybercrime Act No. 14 of 2015, which says:

Any person who publishes information, data or…

Deafening Silence from Ethiopia

By Felix Horne!
The Ethiopian government is cracking down on journalists and NGOs. Where’s the outrage from the international community?
Since November, state security forces have killed hundreds of protesters and arrested thousands in Oromia, Ethiopia’s largest region. It’s the biggest political crisis to hit the country since the 2005 election but has barely registered internationally. And with the protests now in…

Internet Cut in Chad After Tense Polls

By N’Djamena |

The internet remained mysteriously cut in Chad’s capital on Monday a day after elections held amid tight security, which are expected to see President Idriss Deby extend his 26-year rule.

Some foreign television media, who had worked until Sunday evening, were meanwhile unable to cover the post-election situation because they had not received authorisation from the communications ministry, by…

Congo Holds Elections Under Telecom Blackout

By AFP |

Congo holds elections on Sunday under a media blackout in a tense vote expected to see President Denis Sassou Nguesso prolong his 32-year rule over the oil-rich but poor nation.

Interior Minister Raymond Mboulou wrote to telecommunication companies urging them to shut off telephone, Internet and SMS services for 48 hours for “reasons of security and national safety”.

A government…