Fifty violations were recorded in the first quarter of 2021 in the MFWA’s monitoring of the freedom of expression (FOE) environment of West Africa, with Nigeria (10) and Guinea Bissau (7) emerging as the two top violators. The last quarter of 2020 recorded two violations less.
While Nigeria has had a repressive FOE environment over the years, threats from drug cartels and military interventions in politics have effectively silenced critical voices in Guinea Bissau.
The quarter also saw Senegal, a bastion of democracy and respect for civil liberties, descend into a brief moment of despotism that resulted in five violations including the killing of two protesters amidst several arrests, an internet shutdown, and shutdowns of media organisations.
Two journalists and a number of political activists were imprisoned in a continuing crackdown on anti-government elements in Guinea. Like Guinea, Togo recorded five violations, all of them against journalists and media outlets. Read the full report here