One Journalist, Five Demonstrators Killed in West Africa

For the third time this year, a journalist was killed in Nigeria by unidentified attackers while Togo recorded five deaths among opposition demonstrators, during the third quarter of 2017, according to a report by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA).

The killings in Togo followed a crackdown by security agents on a series of demonstrations in the country called by the opposition from August 19, 2017. In all, the third quarter of the MFWA’s Free Expression Monitor recorded 35 violations during the period (July-September, 2017).

The deadly incidents in Togo added to an avalanche of violations perpetrated by security agents across West Africa during the quarter under review. Security agents made up of the police, the gendarmerie, the army and other paramilitary organisations, accounted for 21 (60%) of the 35 violations.

The third quarter also recorded the killing of a journalist in Nigeria by unknown assailants, a repeat of similar unsolved killings in the first and second quarters of 2017.

Eight countries featured in the report with Nigeria (11) Togo (8) and Mauritania (7) recording the most violations in a repeat order of the two previous quarters. The rest are Ghana (4) Guinea (2), The Gambia (1), Mali (1) and Niger (1).

To read the full quarterly report, which is an analysis of the freedom of expression situation in West Africa from July-September, 2017, click here.

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