As part of its FOE advocacy activities, the MFWA has been monitoring the freedom of expression landscape in West Africa and publishing the results of the monitoring as the Freedom of Expression Monitor (The Monitor). Published on a quarterly basis, The Monitor highlights violations of freedom of expression rights and allied civil liberty such as the rights to peaceful assembly.
This report is a consolidation of the reports from the MFWA’s monitoring activities for the year 2019.
In all, there were 167 violations recorded in 14 countries. The figure represents nearly 10% increase in the number of violations reported in 2018, which stood at 152.
The 167 violations included nine incidents of killing in which 30 protesters and two journalists were killed in four countries. There were also cases of arbitrary arrests and detentions, physical attacks, and seizure or destruction of the property of journalists and media houses.
The report also makes recommendations to various stakeholders to take measures to end impunity for such violations, particularly among security agents and public officials who are frequent violators.