Attacks on the Press
| China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Togo
When Press Freedom
and Democracy Are Out of Step
By Tom Rhodes
Ballots may have replaced bullets in much of Africa since the dawn of this new century, but one of the great political ironies for at least part of the continent has been a loss of press freedom following the voting. Leaders in a large swath of sub-Saharan Africa have drawn approving nods from Western politicians for holding sometimes unprecedented elections. Three such countries are the Gambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Ethiopia. All have democratically elected presidents and Western support. Yet between them they hold the unenviable record of placing at or near the top of CPJ's 2007 list of the world's worst backsliders on press freedom.