Violations

Zimbabwe’s Digital Activism Amidst Disproportionate Government Control of the Internet

By Juliet Nanfuka |

In 2016, activism in Zimbabwe took on a new persona through various social media campaigns that also transformed into offline activity.  In a move which critics believe is intended to suppress activism on social media, the national telecoms regulator known as the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) recently drove up internet access prices by up to 500% but…

Keeping the Internet accessible in Sudan, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo through circumvention tools in the event of a shutdown

By Arthur Gwagwa |

Internet shutdowns, carried out for stifling communications amongst protesters and dissenters, have become increasingly common in African countries during key political events, especially election periods. For example, in December 2016, both the Gambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) shutdown the Internet despite strong statements from the Keep It On campaign and other parties. Further, there was an…

DRC: Zeid Calls For Rights To Be Upheld As President’s Mandate Nears End

GENEVA | A planned shutdown of social media in the Democratic Republic of the Congo from Sunday evening ahead of the end of President Joseph Kabila’s mandate, coupled with a continuing ban on demonstrations by civil society and the opposition, is deeply alarming, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said Saturday.

“We are especially concerned as Monday…

UPDATE: Maxence Melo Charged with Obstruction of Investigations and Operating a Domain Not Registered in Tanzania

Jamii Forums Founder, Maxence Melo has been charged with three offences before a court in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The charges are:

1: Management of a domain not registered in Tanzania under Section 79(c) of the Electronic and Postal Communications Act (2010).

2: Obstruction of investigations under Section 22 (2) of the Cyber Crimes Act  of 2015 for not complying with an…

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…