The African nations of the Gambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo join Russia and Cuba among the world’s worst “backsliders” on press freedom.
“Democracy’s foothold in Africa is shallow when it comes to press freedom,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “These three African nations, as diverse as they are, have won praise at times for their transition to democracy—but they are actually moving in reverse on press issues. Journalists in Ethiopia, Gambia, and DRC [Kongo] are being jailed, attacked, and censored, a picture far worse than what we saw only a few years ago.”
“The report lists the worst violations in repressive countries, including major culprits North Korea, Eritrea, Cuba and Turkmenistan, but also looks at democracies, where progress needs to be made too,” the organisation says.
“A disturbingly record number of journalists and media workers were killed or thrown in prison around the world in 2006 and we are already concerned about 2007, as six journalists and four media assistants have been killed in January alone,” the report’s introduction says.