#EndSARS Protests, Elections Trigger a Spike in FOE Violations in West Africa during Last Quarter of 2020

Freedom of expression (FOE) violations linked to elections in Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, and Guinea as well as the crackdown on the #EndSARS protests in Nigeria made the last quarter of 2020, particularly repressive.

The quarter (October-December) recorded 48 violations, representing a 77% increase over the figures for the previous quarter (July-September) which stood at 27.

Nigeria recorded 16 violations including the killing of at least 12 protesters in what has been termed as the Lekki Tollgate Massacre. One journalist was also killed in a separate incident in Nigeria. Ghana followed with eight violations, mostly threats and physical attacks on journalists in connection with its presidential elections in December.  Guinea recorded six violations including the killing of 21 opposition supporters who were protesting against the results of the country’s presidential elections. The authorities in Guinea also disrupted the internet and shut down media houses. Cote d’Ivoire also recorded six violations.

Eleven countries were featured in the report that also highlights other freedom of expression developments in West Africa including President Julius Maada Bio officially assenting to a new law that repealed Criminal Libel in Sierra Leone.

Read the full report here.

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