Attacks on the Press



The cases of press freedom violations described on this website were investigated and verified by CPJ's research staff, according to CPJ strict criteria.



Angola

Year in Review: 1995

On Jan. 18, barely two months after the signing of the Lusaka Peace Accord, Ricardo de Mello, an independent journalist and the publisher/director of the Imparcial Fax newsletter, was murdered. The historic agreement between Angola's Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) government and the Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) rebel movement, which referred to the need to uphold human rights, should have ushered in a new tolerance for freedom of expression. Instead, the MPLA's chilling disregard for press freedom continued unabated. De Mello was killed at the height of his publication's unprecedented coverage of high-level government corruption.

Pressure on embattled Angolan journalists mounted in the wake of de Mello's murder. Harassment and intimidation escalated in the form of attempted kidnappings, assaults, death threats, detentions and interrogations at the hands of the Home Affairs Information Department (SINSO). Foreign correspondents in Angola are also subjected to SINSO surveillance. The nonaligned Angolan media workers' union, Sindicato dos Jornalistas Angolanos (SJA), continues to stress that the lives of Angolan journalists working for foreign media organizations are in danger. Some journalists have resorted to seeking protection from foreign embassies and organizations.

On July 14, the National Assembly of Angola passed a package of laws that included an annulment of the law of equal access to the media for all political parties. It is still too early to predict the extent to which the government will utilize the new laws to further suppress freedom of expression. For the time being, independent media in Angola continue to be openly critical of the MPLA government and UNITA rebels as the country prepares for presidential and parliamentary elections in 1996.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Angola

January 18, 1995

Ricardo de Mello, Imparcial Fax KILLED

De Mello, publisher and director of the privately owned newsletter Imparcial Fax, was gunned down by an unidentified assassin outside his home in the capital, Luanda. De Mello was shot in the early morning hours on the stairs leading to his apartment. According to his wife, he had recently been warned by military officials of the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) party to stop writing about the war. The investigation into de Mello's murder remains stalled since the chief investigating lawyer was ordered by intelligence agents to drop the case. The independent Angolan media workers' union, Sindicato dos Jornalistas Angolanos, has stated that it is likely that de Mello, who was well connected with MPLA moderates, was killed because Imparcial Fax's coverage of high-level corruption and the government's war effort angered conservatives within the MPLA.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Angola

January 26, 1995

Mariano Costa, Imparcial Fax ATTACKED

As Costa, a reporter with Imparcial Fax, was walking home, four people got out of a car, surrounded him and demanded that he hand over his identification papers. When he showed his press card, they assaulted him and attempted to abduct him. Costa fled, but he was intercepted by men in a minibus who also tried to abduct him.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Angola

November 18, 1995

Mario Paiva, Free-lancer THREATENED

Paiva, a Luanda-based free-lancer for Reuters and the South African Broadcasting Corporation's Channel Africa, was confronted by an agent of the Angolan Home Affairs Information Department (SINSO) who identified himself as Bedo. The agent reportedly told Paiva that the state knew what he was doing, and said, "I can order my people to shoot you at your stairs like the January event"--meaning the assassination of Ricardo de Mello, publisher and director of the Imparcial Fax newsletter. Paiva has been followed, and his home is under surveillance by SINSO agents. The confrontation with Bedo was the second in as many months. While Paiva no longer receives death threats, he continues to take precautions.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Botswana

Year in Review: 1995

Botswana's status as a model democracy has been tarnished by recent government actions that suppress media pluralism and freedom of expression. The government continues to control all radio broadcasting and to censor television broadcasts, which are transmitted from external sources.

Several repressive laws on sedition, which provide for detention without trial, were passed in the colonial era and never repealed. Instead of eliminating such laws, the government has chosen the opposite path, drawing up new restrictive legislation, such as the Mass Media Communications Bill. The bill, which originally was designed to pave the way for private broadcasting in Botswana, has now been expanded to include tighter controls on the existing independent print media. The National Security Act, which was upheld in the case against the independent weekly Mmegi before the High Court in February, poses a constant threat to journalists. The act grants the government sweeping powers to withhold information, and journalists face sentences of up to 25 years imprisonment for publishing classified information.

Aggressive public statements by officials requesting further government clampdowns on the private media indicate that the government will continue to restrict, rather than encourage, freedom of expression.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Botswana

August

The Botswana Guardian LEGAL, ACTION

The Botswana Guardian, an independent daily, was ordered to pay fines for refusing to reveal the source of an April 9, 1993, article alleging that Central Bank Governor Quill Hermans had mismanaged the bank. Although it appeared that the matter was settled when paper issued an apology to Hermans in 1993, bank authorities demanded the newspaper's sources again this year. In response, the paper published a reply of refusal, which Hermans interpreted as a retraction of the apology, and the bank subsequently reissued the suit against the paper.

The defense counsel for The Botswana Guardian opted for an out-of-court settlement, in which he agreed that the paper would name its source. Botswana Guardian editor Joel Sebonego refused to honor the settlement, and the paper was ordered to pay damages amounting to eight times the original fine.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Burundi

Year in Review: 1995

As in recent years, Burundi was one of the most hazardous African countries for the independent press in 1995, largely because of the escalation of ethnic violence.

With little prospect of protection by the authorities, journalists lived in constant fear of death. Many fled into exile, and those who remained practiced self-censorship. Foreign journalists were also attacked and/or illegally detained by police and gendarmes, and some were harassed by gangs of Tutsi youth demanding money.

Newspapers became increasingly partisan throughout the year, often functioning as propaganda organs for extremists from all factions--going so far as to publish death lists and incitements to ethnic violence.

Radio continued to be the most accessible medium for the majority of the population. In a modest effort to reduce partisanship on the airwaves, the government urged the dismantling of extremist radio stations whose broadcasts fomented hatred and division, but it failed to block radical Hutu broadcasts originating from Zaire. International groups also assisted in the creation of alternative, nonpartisan radio stations. The government also allowed opposition parties to broadcast on state-owned radio and television.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Burundi

April 6, 1995

Vincent Francis, Worldwide Television News (WTN) KILLED, ATTACKED
Victor Dhlamini, WTN ATTACKED

Francis, the Johannesburg bureau chief for the British television news agency WTN, was killed in an ambush 15 kilometers northwest of the capital of Bujumbura. His interpreter and driver were also killed, and WTN cameraman Dhlamini was wounded in the attack. Dhlamini said their attackers were clearly bandits who "just wanted money" and stole the journalists' cash, television equipment and other belongings.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Burundi

June 7, 1995

Pamphile Simbizi, National Radio and Television of Burundi (RTNB) KILLED

Simbizi, the director of the French radio section of the state-run RTNB, was stabbed to death by soldiers of unknown affiliation in the Gasenyi district of Bujumbura. Simbizi was a member of the moderate Hutu movement.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Cameroon

Year in Review: 1995

President Paul Biya continued his assault on the media in 1995, further consolidating political power within his small, tightly controlled Cameroon People's Democratic Movement (CPDM). The few independent journalists who continued to publish opposing views and criticism of the government suffered death threats, censorship, banning, arbitrary detention without charge, interrogation and assault.

Members of the Organization for Freedom of the Press in Cameroon (OCALIP) are routinely arrested and imprisoned for up to two years for "defaming" officials, especially Chief of State Security Jean Fochivé. Many journalists have gone into hiding for fear of reprisals at the hands of police and state security agents.

Cameroon is one of the last countries in the world to practice prior censorship. The CPDM has yet to institute promised legislation that would abolish this policy, which currently requires all newspapers to submit their material to the Territorial Administration Service (TAS), which acts as the state censor, four hours before publication. Some newspapers appear on the newsstands with blank spaces where censored articles were removed; other editions do not make it to the newsstands at all. Armed police now permanently surround Rotorprint, the Douala printing plant where the major newspapers are published. Editions of some newspapers continue to be published and seized, vendors have been robbed and beaten by police, and citizens are harassed for reading banned papers. Eleven private newspapers are using proceeds from a joint edition to finance a lawsuit against the TAS.

OCALIP is protesting an amendment to the existing repressive press law that is currently before the legislature. The amendment would end prepublication censorship yet simultaneously strengthen the state's right to censor postpublication by seizing editions. The bill would also grant the CPDM authority to withdraw media licenses, a right the state does not currently possess. OCALIP believes that the amendment, in its current form, would be used indiscriminately by the state and powerful individuals to further muzzle the press. Radio and television broadcasting remain under the complete control of the CPDM.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Cameroon

January 3, 1995

Le Messager THREATENED, CENSORED
Puis Njawe, Le Messager THREATENED, CENSORED

Police in Douala seized more than 8,000 copies of the Jan. 3 edition of the independent weekly Le Messager. The seizure coincided with the publication of a front-page feature entitled "After the 1994 Fiasco: It's Make or Break." After the article was published, the editor in chief, Njawe, received anonymous death threats. CPJ protested the seizure.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Cameroon

January 13, 1995

Le Messager Popoli CENSORED

Police seized the Jan. 13 edition of the weekly magazine Le Messager Popoli, a cartoon supplement to Le Messager. The issue included a cartoon of President Biya's pregnant wife. CPJ protested the seizure.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Cameroon

March 3, 1995

Le Messager Popoli CENSORED

Police in Yaoundé and Douala seized the March 3 edition of Le Messager Popoli from newsstands. The issue contained two comic strips rejected by the censor. One, captioned "The Former Prime Minister of Chad Is Asked to Take a Walk," depicted Deputy Prime Minister for Territorial Administration Gilbert Andze Tsoungui and the former prime minister of Chad, Fidele Moungar. The other, entitled "Pasqua and His Pans," depicted France's Minister of Interior Charles Pasqua's visit to Cameroon. CPJ protested the seizure.

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Cameroon

April 17, 1995

Le Messager HARASSED, CENSORED

Police in Douala seized copies of the April 17 edition of Le Messager, which contained an article criticizing Deputy Prime Minister Gilbert Andze Tsoungui. Two newspaper vendors, who protested the seizures and demanded a receipt for the confiscated issues, were arrested and another was manhandled for selling the edition. The two vendors were released that day. CPJ protested the seizure.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Cameroon

May 1, 1995

Le Messager CENSORED

Twelve thousand copies, the entire supply in Douala, of the May 15 edition of Le Messager were seized. During the two previous weeks, 8,000 copies of the May 1 edition and 6,000 copies of the May 8 edition were also seized in Douala. CPJ protested the seizures in a letter to President Biya, noting the effect prepublication censorship has on press freedom and the financial hardship seizures cause for publications.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Cameroon

May 4, 1995

Patrice Ndedi Penda, Galaxie HARASSED

Penda, publisher of the Douala-based satirical weekly Galaxie, was arrested in the morning, taken to the Ndobaba Gendarmerie and held overnight. The arrest was in connection with charges of forgery in a case brought by Minister of Agriculture Augustin Kodock against Galaxie in October 1994, which the court dismissed. Penda was released the next day without charge. CPJ protested his arrest.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Cameroon

May 5, 1995

Perspectives Hebdo CENSORED
Dikalo CENSORED

The government issued an order officially suspending the independent weekly Perspectives Hebdo for three months for "failing to meet censorship regulations." The suspension followed publication in the April 18 edition of a letter from a government official to the prime minister, accusing the latter of corruption and incompetence. The paper had been unofficially suspended since April 25, when it was seized; the official suspension began on May 5. The weekly Dikalo also published the letter to the prime minister in its April 17 edition, which was also seized. Dikalo resumed publication the following week; Perspectives Hebdo resumed in September.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Cameroon

June 5, 1995

Le Messager CENSORED

Eleven thousand copies of the June 5 edition of the independent weekly Le Messager were seized by police in Douala and Yaoundé, reportedly for violating censorship regulations by submitting faked editions to the censors.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Cameroon

June 9, 1995

Ndzana Seme, Le Nouvel Independent ATTACKED, , LEGAL, ACTION

Twenty policemen broke into the home/office of Seme, the publisher and editor in chief of the independent weekly Le Nouvel Indépendent. During the raid, police clubbed two reporters, nine office workers and Seme, whom they arrested. The police besieged the home/office for the day as Seme refused to leave with the police unless they produced a warrant for his arrest and a search warrant. On June 12, Seme was charged with "inciting rebellion" because of a June 5 article in which he accused Chief of State Security Jean Fochivé of embezzlement. On Aug. 22, a criminal court gave Seme a two-month suspended sentence. The attorney general appealed the sentence, and at the second trial, on Oct. 27, Seme was sentenced to one year in prison and fined 100 million CFA (US$200,000). Sources report that Seme is not in prison but in hiding to avoid imprisonment.

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Cameroon

July 13, 1995

Paddy Mbawa, Cameroon Post IMPRISONED

Mbawa, publisher of the independent Cameroon Post, was sentenced on July 13 to six months in prison on charges of libeling a company director. In an April issue, Mbawa published a story alleging that an insurance company executive embezzled nearly 1 billion CFA (US$2 million) from the company. Mbawa was arrested in mid-August. He is contesting the conviction on the grounds that he was never presented a summons to the July 13 hearing. Mbawa's defense was hampered when his attorney, Julius Achu, dropped the case due to pressure from his older brother, Simon Achidi Achu, the prime minister. The Cameroon Post is still being published, albeit irregularly.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Cameroon

August

Paul Popoli Nyemb, Le Messager Popoli THREATENED, HARASSED

Nyemb (popularly known as Popoli), the managing editor of the weekly satirical cartoon supplement Le Messager Popoli, received threatening phone calls and letters saying his cartoons had offended people and he should cease publishing them. He also complained of being followed by men with walkie-talkies and of stones thrown through the windows of his home. The threats lasted from late August to late September.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Cameroon

August 7, 1995

Le Messager CENSORED
Dikalo CENSORED
Challenge Hebdo CENSORED
La Nouvelle Expression CENSORED

The Ministry of Territorial Administration (MINAT) issued an indefinite suspension of the four independent newspapers for "refusing to respect prepublication censorship requirements," and because they were a "threat to public order." MINAT, however, failed to cite any specifically "threatening" articles. The four papers resumed publication under temporary alternate names.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Cameroon

August 17, 1995

Puis Njawe, Le Messager/La Messagère LEGAL, ACTION
Thomas Hirené Atenga, Le Messager/La Messagère LEGAL, ACTION

The editor Njawe and the reporter Atenga of Le Messager were each given a suspended two-month sentence and fined 300,000 CFA (US$600) in damages for "abuse and slander" of Jean Fochivé, chief of state security. The charges stemmed from a June 5 article in Le Messager accusing the leadership of the Cameroon police of misappropriating millions of CFA. After it was banned on Aug. 7, Le Messager published as La Messagère.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Cameroon

August 28, 1995

La Messagère HARASSED, CENSORED

Eight vendors in Douala and 10 in Yaoundé were arrested after being questioned by police for selling La Messagère, Le Messager's successor since its banning on Aug. 7. They were all released on Aug. 30.

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Cameroon

August 30, 1995

Puis Njawe, Le Messager/La Messagère HARASSED
Sévérin Tchounkeu, La Nouvelle Expression/Expression HARASSED

The editors in chief Njawe and Tchounkeu were questioned on Aug. 30 and Aug. 31, respectively, by the commander of the gendarmerie and the governor of Province Littoral, regarding their refusal to comply with the banning of their newspapers on Aug. 7. Tchounkeu stated that La Nouvelle Expression was never officially informed of its suspension, so it continued to publish. Each editor was released at the end of the day.

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Chad

Year in Review: 1995

Journalists in Chad continued to suffer attacks, detention, intimidation, threats and interrogation in 1995 during the country's prolonged transition toward multiparty rule. Legislative elections were postponed again to April or May 1996, but few expect the Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS), which controls the transitional parliament, to adhere to the current timetable.

Threats against journalists by top MPS officials have increased significantly. Both the minister of communication and the minister of the army have expressed intolerance of any critical coverage of the government. Retaliation by agents of the National Security Unit (ANS) is frequent, resulting in self-censorship within both independent and state media. ANS police routinely ransack, confiscate and destroy the property of opposition newspapers. There is no national union of journalists, and no recourse exists within the current political environment for aggrieved journalists.

The state monopoly on broadcast media is not expected to change in the near future. In this vast country with low literacy rates, the majority of the population remains without access to opposing viewpoints or the means to exercise free speech.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Chad

June 1, 1995

Yaldet Begoto Oulatar, N'Djamena Hebdo ATTACKED, , HARASSED
Dieudonne Djonabaye, N'Djamena Hebdo ATTACKED, , HARASSED

The office of the independent weekly newspaper N'Djamena Hebdo was ransacked by government troops. Oulatar, director of publications, and the editor in chief, Djonabaye, were beaten and taken to the National Security Agency for questioning. They were released later that night. The attack was in response to a May 4 article in the weekly that criticized the army leadership, accusing it of recruiting mercenaries from Sudan.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Côte D'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

Year in Review: 1995

President Henri Konan Bédié's successful efforts to restrict the press and his political opposition before the presidential elections in October resulted in a complete opposition boycott of the polls. Using a broad range of repressive laws, Bédié routinely imprisoned journalists and banned opposition newspapers, thus effectively outlawing free expression in Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast).

In June, Abou Drahamane Sangaré, a leading opposition figure and the publisher of the Nouvel Horizon publishing group, which publishes the independent newspaper La Voie, was severely beaten in Security Minister Gen. Ouassenan Kone's office, on the minister's orders, for publishing an article "insulting" to Kone. A few months later, Sangaré, the paper's deputy editor Freedom Neruda and a reporter, Emmanuel Koré, were fined and sentenced to two years' imprisonment for "offending the head of state." The newspaper was banned for three months. CPJ and other press freedom organizations have vehemently protested the repeated harassment of the Nouvel Horizon publishing group, and CPJ continues to monitor the case.

Since neither the Côte d'Ivoire constitution nor the existing Press Law of 1991 provides for freedom of expression, the press has little legal recourse. The judiciary generally functions as an arm of the ruling party. Sedition laws are used to prosecute journalists for publishing articles critical of government or supporting the peaceful expression of alternative political views. Libel laws make "insult or offense" to public officials a crime, regardless of the accuracy of the information published. Publications, or their printers and vendors, may be banned or shut down if found guilty of these charges.

Radio and television broadcasting, which is stringently controlled by the government, remains the most effective mass medium in Côte d'Ivoire. Although international news services and religious organizations have been granted licenses, the state has refused to award the independent press or opposition groups access to the airwaves. A number of journalists working for state media have been dismissed or threatened with dismissal for covering the opposition.

The private press faces significant economic constraints, in comparison with state-financed newspapers, because it must compete for limited amounts of advertising revenue. Independent newspapers, which are distributed only in the larger cities, are also economically restricted by local businesses' fear of government reprisals for advertising in opposition-affiliated newspapers.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Ethiopia

Year in Review: 1995

For the third consecutive year, Ethiopia has imprisoned more journalists than any other country in Africa. Repeated crackdowns on the independent media testify to the deteriorating situation for journalists.

Ethiopian citizens voted for the first time in the May 1995 general elections. However, there were few surprises--President Meles Zenawi, former head of the Transitional Government of Ethiopia (TGE), was elected prime minister. Because opposition parties boycotted the election, representatives of Zenawi's Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) were able to capture the majority of seats in the Council of People's Representatives, the country's new parliament.

A crackdown on the independent media just before the elections showed the government's intolerance for freedom of expression that prevails in the new Ethiopia. With the broadcast media under strict government control, the independent press was the favored target of state efforts to silence peaceful dissent.

Waves of mass arrests by the government reached their peak in late November, when 17 journalists were placed in detention, the majority without charge. Disregard for the procedural requirements of the Press Proclamation of 1992, which guarantees press freedom, continues to be standard practice. On charges of publishing false information, incitement to war or criminal offense against the safety of the state, journalists are detained for weeks or months without trial and face exorbitant fines averaging 10,000 birr (US$2,000) and prison sentences of up to three years.

At year's end, 31 journalists and one newspaper distributor were in prison, and two journalists remain missing. Skyrocketing printing costs and competition from subsidized government newspapers forced the closure of nearly a dozen independent weeklies.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Ethiopia

March 1995

Tamene Getachew, Meda Walabu LEGAL, ACTION
Yohannes Abebe, Beza LEGAL, ACTION
Terefe Mengesha, Roha LEGAL, ACTION

The editors Getachew, Abebe and Mengesha were sentenced to prison terms ranging from one to one-and-a-half years for "publishing false information."

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Ethiopia

March 1995

Antensay Tafesse, Mogad IMPRISONED
Sissay Agena, Ethiopis IMPRISONED

Tafesse and Agena, the editors of the weekly newpapers Mogad and Ethiopis, respectively were each sentenced to a one-year prison term on charges of "publishing false information."

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Ethiopia

March 24, 1995

Andargue Mesfin, Tenager IMPRISONED, LEGAL, ACTION
Tekle Yishal, Tenager IMPRISONED, LEGAL, ACTION

Mesfin and Yishal, reporters for the weekly Tenager, were sentenced by the Central High Court to 18 months and 12 months in prison, respectively, for publishing an Oromo Liberation Front communiqué and for writing three political articles, including a story about the arbitrary murder of civilians by soldiers from the Woyane ethnic group.

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Ethiopia

May 1, 1995

Alem-Seged Tefera, Gananaw HARASSED
Aklilu Tadesse, Andebet HARASSED

The reporters Tefera and Tadesse, who work for the independent weekly newspapers Gananaw and Andebet, respectively, were taken from their offices by police and detained without charge for two days before being released. Each was interrogated about articles published in his paper.

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Ethiopia

May

Tamene Getachew, Meda-Walabu IMPRISONED, LEGAL, ACTION
Yohannes Abebe, Beza IMPRISONED, LEGAL, ACTION

The editors Getachew and Abebe were convicted on charges of "incitement to war" for articles published in their respective independent weekly newspapers, Meda-Walabu and Beza. Each is serving a one-year prison sentence in the Addis Ababa State Prison.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Ethiopia

June 1995

Beniam Tadesse, Agere THREATENED
Bekele Mekonen, Urgi THREATENED
Tesfaye Deressa, Urgi THREATENED
Garuma Bekele, Urgi THREATENED
Mulugeta Lemessa, Urgi THREATENED
Atnafu Alemayehu, Tomar THREATENED
Kassahun Saboqa, Tomar THREATENED
Befekadu Moroda, Tomar THREATENED
Tesehalene Mengesha, Mebreq THREATENED

Addis Ababa police mounted a search for these independent journalists, aiming to arrest them; the journalists immediately went into hiding.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Ethiopia

June 21, 1995

Dereje Birru, Tekwami IMPRISONED
Abiy Afework, Tekwami IMPRISONED
Abinet Tamirat, Dagmawi IMPRISONED
Girmayeneh Mammo, Tomar IMPRISONED
Solomon Gebre Amlak, Mogad IMPRISONED
Sintayehu Biro, Tikuret IMPRISONED
Daniel Dirsha, Kitab IMPRISONED

These seven journalists for independent newspapers were arrested by government agents for publishing stories regarding the armed conflict between the government and opposition groups. They were charged with "war mongering, incitement of the public and discrediting the government."

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Ethiopia

July 5, 1995

Taye Belachew, Tobia IMPRISONED

Belachew, the editor in chief of the weekly newspaper Tobia, was detained without charge by plainclothes agents of the Central Criminal Investigation Department. His arrest is believed to be in connection with a Tobia article about an Awassa regional official's refusal to perform his duties according to departmental regulations. During the interrogation, the police ordered Belachew to reveal his sources, but he refused. His attorney filed a complaint in court about his illegal arrest, and Belachew was released on bail four days after his arrest.

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ethiopia

September 1995

Zegeye Haile, Genanaw IMPRISONED
Befekadu Moreda, Tomar IMPRISONED
Taye Belachew, Tobia IMPRISONED
Tewdros Kebede, Roha IMPRISONED
Atnafu Alemayehu, Tomar IMPRISONED
Alemu, Beza IMPRISONED

The publishers Haile and Moreda, the editors in chief Belachew and Kebede, the deputy editor in chief Alemayehu and the journalist Alemu were detained for periods ranging from three weeks to four months in connection with published articles about the attempt to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa on June 26. They were released on bail of 10,000 birr (US$2,000) each.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Ethiopia

September 16, 1995

Mulugeta Lule, Tobia IMPRISONED

Lule, the manager of the independent newspaper Tobia and vice chairman of the Ethiopian Free Press Journalists' Association (EFJA), was arrested and held without charge for three days before being released on bail of 10,000 birr (US$2,000). His arrest was in connection with an article he published about the attempt to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa on June 26.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Ethiopia

November 1995

Tesfaye Deressa, Urgi IMPRISONED
Bekele Mekonen, Urgi IMPRISONED
Garuma Bekele, Urgi IMPRISONED
Dagnachew Yilma, Dubtec Computer Service IMPRISONED
Israel Saboga, Seife Nebelbal IMPRISONED
Zegeye Haile, Lalibella IMPRISONED
Getahun Bekele,Tarik IMPRISONED
Akilu Tadesse, Andebet IMPRISONED
Biruk Mekonnen, Beza IMPRISONED
Mesfin Shiferaw, Beza IMPRISONED
Iyob Demeke, Tarik IMPRISONED
Getamessay G/Meskei, Dagnew IMPRISONED
Worku Alemayehu, Mebrook IMPRISONED
Tedros Kebede, Roha IMPRISONED
Tesehalene Mengesha, Hanus IMPRISONED
Biruk Dominique, Rohama IMPRISONED
Terefe Mengesha, Roha IMPRISONED

These independent journalists were arrested in connection with articles they published, all of which cited an interview with former President Mengistu Haile Mariam in which he accused the governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea of attempting to assassinate him.

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Ethiopia

November 22, 1995

Mulugeta Lule, Tobia IMPRISONED

Lule, the manager of the independent newspaper Tobia and the vice chairman of the Ethiopian Free Journalists' Association (EFJA), was detained without charge by the police and held at the Central Criminal Investigation Department of Ma'ekelawi Prison. He was released on Dec. 1. His arrest was in connection with an article, published in the Nov. 9 issue of Tobia, about an attempt to assassinate former President Mengistu Haile Mariam.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Gabon

Year in Review: 1995

Minister of Communications and Culture Alexandre Sambat and the newly appointed interior minister, Louis-Gaston Mayila, led the Gabonese government's continued assault on local media--state owned and independent alike--in 1995. The two shut down Channel One, the national radio and television station, and three private newspapers.

Ironically, the bans ultimately brought some benefits to Gabonese journalists. The broadcast journalists of Channel One presented themselves as more than state functionaries by threatening to strike if certain demands were not satisfied. The National Council for Communication (CNC) also asserted itself as a legitimate media watchdog by challenging the government's orders of suspension. In all cases, the CNC reaffirmed itself as the only government agency empowered to impound a media publication and denounced the ministers' actions as "an abuse of power" and "serious infringements on media freedom."

Finally, opposition and government journalists joined forces to press for change. On April 26, CNC, with the help of private media, passed a Code of Conduct for Journalists. A set of 20 rules and guidelines, the code includes the rights to inform, to be informed and to protect sources. Compliance with the code of conduct, however, is voluntary.

Despite these moves toward press freedom in Gabon, President Omar Albert-Bernard Bongo's administration has made no public commitment to fostering and protecting an independent press.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Gabon

February 23, 1995

L'Effort CENSORED

The interior minister banned the opposition newspaper L'Effort, which is run by Minister of Planning Pierre-Claver Maganga-Moussavou, who is the leader of the opposition Parti Social Democrat. The interior minister ordered the printing press and the distributor to stop work on the paper after it published, on the one-year anniversary of the February 1994 civil unrest, photos of acts of police brutality during the disturbances. The National Council for Communication (CNC), the only body authorized to ban publications, lifted the ban on March 16 and stated that it was an abuse of power on the part of the Interior Ministry.

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Gabon

March 10, 1995

Channel One CENSORED

The minister of communications and culture ordered the national radio and television station, Channel One, closed on March 10, marking the first time the channel had been closed. The minister objected to the strike journalists began that day protesting working conditions for communications personnel. The National Council for Communication (CNC) took a stand against the government's unilateral decision against Channel One, on the grounds that only the CNC can decide on the closure of a publication. The president lifted the ban on March 13, and the journalists returned to work the next day.

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Gabon

April 20, 1995

La Griffe CENSORED
Le Bucheron CENSORED

The interior minister banned La Griffe and Le Bucheron, the country's most widely read independent dailies, for "publishing without proof attacks [against President Bongo] from the French press." The minister ordered the printers to stop printing the papers on the grounds that they had republished reports from banned French papers that implicated Bongo in a prostitution scandal. Some of the French newspapers banned in Gabon include Le Monde, Le Nouvel Observateur, Le Figaro and France Soir. The National Council for Communication (CNC), which is the only body authorized to issue such orders to the press, objected to the government's action. On May 3, World Press Freedom Day, the minister of communications and culture lifted the ban.

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Ghana

Year in Review: 1995

In 1995, Ghana's independent press, one of the most obstreperous and energetic on the continent, was the target of government intimidation as the state utilized harsh criminal libel laws, based on the British system, to punish journalists for unfavorable coverage of government-appointed officials. Although Ghana's constitution protects freedom of expression, President Jerry Rawlings' National Democratic Congress government has recently invoked outdated decrees of former military governments to support its monopoly over broadcasting.

The fight for control of Ghana's airwaves heated up this year as independents sought to end state control over broadcasting. The Ghana Frequency Registration and Control Board (GFRB), headed by retired Maj. John Tandoh, announced in July that 36 television and radio station licenses would be issued. There was little celebration among independent broadcasters, however, because the GFRB simultaneously imposed unprecedented nonrefundable "commitment fees" of US$20,000 and US$40,000 for radio and television, respectively, ensuring that some licensees may never go into operation. Ghana's large radio audience, an average of 27 radios per 100 people (compared to the overall developing countries' ratio of 18 radios per 100 people), is an important target constituency in the upcoming 1996 elections.

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Ghana

February 21, 1995

Kwabena Mensah-Bonsu, The Free Press IMPRISONED, LEGAL, ACTION
Eben Quarcoo, The Free Press IMPRISONED, LEGAL, ACTION
Tommy Thompson Books Ltd. IMPRISONED, LEGAL, ACTION

The Supreme Court found Mensah-Bonsu, a columnist with the independent newspaper The Free Press, and the newspaper's editor in chief, Quarcoo, guilty of contempt of court and sentenced them to one month and to one day in prison, respectively. Quarcoo was also fined 100,000 cedis (US$95), and the paper's publisher, Tommy Thompson Books Ltd., was fined 300,000 cedis (US$286). The Free Press was also required to publish an apology. The charges stemmed from an article published in May 1994 entitled "Abban Is a Liar," which alleged that Supreme Court Justice Isaac Kobena Abban had falsified court documents. Justice Abban did not rule on the case. There was widespread public condemnation of Mensah-Bonsu's sentence, and the bar association went on strike during his one-month imprisonment. Mensah-Bonsu was released on March 28.

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Ivory Coast

February 8, 1995

Abou Cisse, La Patrie HARASSED
Esaire Ten, La Patrie HARASSED

Cisse, founder and director of the opposition weekly La Patrie, and Ten, an editor at the paper, were held for one day at police headquarters and questioned regarding a series of articles about President Bédié. They were released without charge at the end of the day.

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Ivory Coast

February 15, 1995

Abou Cisse, La Patrie IMPRISONED, LEGAL, ACTION, CENSORED
De Be Kwassi, La Patrie IMPRISONED, LEGAL, ACTION, CENSORED
La Patrie IMPRISONED, LEGAL, ACTION, CENSORED

Cisse, the founder and director of the opposition weekly La Patrie, and the reporter Kwassi were taken into custody and charged with "insulting the head of state." The charge stemmed from two articles, one written two weeks earlier, which questioned President Bédié's Ivorian origins, and another written one week earlier, which exposed a scandal involving the over-invoicing of sugar industry projects while Bédié was minister of finance. On March 3, Cisse and Kwassi were each sentenced to one year in prison and fined 2 million CFA (US$4,000). The court also suspended publication of the paper for three months. CPJ protested the sentences and fines and demanded the journalists' immediate release. On July 27, Bédié ordered the release of Cisse and Kwassi.

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Ivory Coast

February 22, 1995

Fousseni Dembele, Plume Libre IMPRISONED, LEGAL, ACTION
Brahima Kone, Plume Libre IMPRISONED, LEGAL, ACTION

Dembele, the director of the Islamic monthly magazine Plume Libre, and the reporter Kone were taken into custody, held without bail for two days and then charged with "disturbing public order, incitement to disorder and to tribal and religious hatred." The charge stemmed from an article in the February 1995 edition, which claimed that the government was taking measures against Muslims who had backed the Rally of the Republicans (RDR) opposition party and that Muslims were being purged from the civil service. On March 2, Dembele and Kone were each sentenced to 10 months in prison and fined 2 million CFA (US$4,000). The charges against them had been reduced to "disturbing public order, casting aspersions on state institutions and inciting serious political unrest." CPJ wrote to President Bédié on March 3 protesting the sentences and fines. On Aug. 4, Bédié ordered the release of Dembele and Kone. The presidential decree stated that the release was conditional but did not specify the conditions.

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Ivory Coast

June 14, 1995

Abou Drahamane Sangaré, Nouvel Horizon ATTACKED, , HARASSED

Sangaré, publisher and director of the newspaper group Nouvel Horizon and deputy leader of the opposition Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), was taken by security agents to the office of Security Minister Gen. Ouassenan Kone, where he was questioned about an article in his satirical weekly Bol Kotch, which dealt with Minister Kone's treatment of student unrest in Côte d'Ivoire.

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Ivory Coast

September 7, 1995

Jean-Marc Bouju, Associated Press (AP) ATTACKED

Police assaulted Bouju, an AP photographer, and seized his equipment. The equipment was returned five hours later with an apology. Bouju, who was not seriously injured, was covering an anti-government protest by a coalition of opposition groups in Abidjan.

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Ivory Coast

December 20, 1995

Abdoulaye Bakayoko, Le Républicain Ivoirien IMPRISONED, LEGAL, ACTION, CENSORED
Ladji Sidibe, Le Républicain Ivoirien IMPRISONED, LEGAL, ACTION, CENSORED
Ali Keita, Le Républicain Ivoirien IMPRISONED, LEGAL, ACTION, CENSORED
Le Républicain Ivoirien IMPRISONED, LEGAL, ACTION, CENSORED

Sidibe, editor of the opposition daily Le Républicain Ivoirien, and Keita, its layout editor, were taken in for questioning about an article on Moustapha Diaby, a member of parliament and the leader of the pro-government Higher Islamic Council. On Dec. 21, the two were charged with libeling Diaby and remanded into custody. On Dec. 28, the paper's managing editor, Bakayoko, was also charged, and all three were given three-month suspended jail sentences for "defaming a politician." Bakayoko and Keita were fined 200,000 CFA (US$400) each and together ordered to pay a total of 1 million CFA (US$2,000) to Diaby, who sued the paper for defamation. Le Républicain Ivoirien was also suspended for three months.

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Ivory Coast

December 21, 1995

Abou Drahamane Sangaré, Nouvel Horizon IMPRISONED, LEGAL, ACTION, CENSORED
Emmanuel Koré, La Voie IMPRISONED, LEGAL, ACTION, CENSORED
La Voie IMPRISONED, LEGAL, ACTION, CENSORED

Sangaré, director of publications of the Nouvel Horizon group, which owns the opposition daily La Voie, and La Voie reporter Koré were arrested for a Dec. 18 La Voie article. The article suggested that President Bédié's attendance at the African Champions Cup final brought bad luck to Côte d'Ivoire's national soccer team, causing it to lose to South Africa. On Dec. 28, Sangaré and Koré were each sentenced to two years in prison for "offending the chief of state" and fined 3 million CFA (US$6,000). La Voie was also banned for three months. CPJ wrote to the Bédié government protesting the sentences and demanding the release of Sangaré and Koré.

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Kenya

Year in Review: 1995

President Daniel arap Moi's Kenya African National Union (KANU) government declared war on the media in 1995, openly attacking any citizen daring to publish opposing views or any foreign correspondent reporting on the opposition. Moi's repression of free expression, part of his continued consolidation of power, generated doubts about the future of multiparty democracy in Kenya.

With the collusion of a weak judiciary, and by using police powers and executive decrees, KANU officials have succeeded in severely restricting free speech. Sedition laws are used extensively against journalists; Moi recently decreed that insulting him is a criminal offense. Newspapers and printing presses are arbitrarily closed down by the state and, in extreme cases, publications are banned. Journalists are routinely assaulted by plainclothes police, agents of the Criminal Investigation Department and KANU youth-wingers, as members of the party's youth section are known. Journalists, fearing reprisals from the state, practice self-censorship or go into hiding or exile.

KANU's control over the broadcast media shows no sign of diminishing. This year, the foreign press also felt the effects of Moi's autocratic grip. The Kenya Broadcasting Corporation censored BBC World Television broadcasts, prompting the BBC to threaten a complete shutdown of service. Foreign correspondents have been threatened with expulsion for covering opposition parties' political activities, the trial of political prisoner Koigi wa Wamwere, government corruption and the unprecedented increase in crime, especially crime against foreigners. Government fears that publicizing the current crisis in Kenya will adversely affect tourism have been realized.

CPJ and other international press freedom organizations protested state attempts to introduce drafts of two new, oppressive media laws, the Press Council of Kenya Bill and the Kenya Mass Media Commission Bill. Condemnation of the new legislation led the government to shelve the bills indefinitely, saying that "criticism was premature." The new laws would require licensing of local and foreign journalists, institute a government-mandated code of conduct and create a council to regulate media operations.

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Kenya

February 1, 1995

Finance ATTACKED

Two unidentified men broke into the offices of the independent magazine Finance, doused it with gasoline and set it on fire. The office receptionist, Ruth Gathiga, was attacked while trying to escape. The magazine was closed until early April. No government investigation was conducted, and no one claimed responsibility.

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Kenya

April 27, 1995

Anil Vidyathi, Colourprint ATTACKED, , LEGAL, ACTION

Police raided the offices of Colourprint, the printer of Finance, The People and Economic Review magazines, damaging and disabling the presses. The director, Vidyathi, was arrested, charged with printing a seditious publication and released on bond the next day. Colourprint remains closed. Vidyathi made 32 court appearances in 1995, and his case continues.

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Kenya

May 3, 1995

Njehu Gatabaki, Finance HARASSED, LEGAL, ACTION

After several days in hiding, Finance magazine director Gatabaki surrendered himself to police and was arrested. He was released the next day on bond and charged with sedition for articles, published in April, linking a minister, Nicholas Biwott, to the 1991 murder of Foreign Minister Dr. Robert Ouko. Gatabaki is also an opposition member of parliament. The case has yet to be heard in court.

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Kenya

May 22, 1995

Jan Gunnar Furuly, Aftenposten HARASSED, LEGAL, ACTION
Finn-Eirik Stroemberg, Aftenposten HARASSED, LEGAL, ACTION

Furuly and Stroemberg, reporters for the Norwegian daily Aftenposten, were arrested and held for 13 hours before being released on bail. The two journalists, along with the human rights lawyer Paul Muite, were in the town of Nukuru to cover the trial of the human rights activist Koigi wa Wamwere. The journalists were charged with photographing three police stations in Nukuru, going to police stations without authorization, obstructing a police officer and resisting arrest, charges that carry a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison. They denied all allegations. A trial date was set for June 7, but the journalists returned to Norway on May 24. The charges have since been dropped.

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Kenya

June 1, 1995

Jacob Waweru, East African Standard ATTACKED, , HARASSED
Jacob Otieno, East African Standard ATTACKED, , HARASSED

Waweru and Otieno, photojournalists for the independent East African Standard, were beaten by security agents after Waweru took photographs of policemen beating a spectator at an independence day celebration at Nyayo Stadium. When police spotted Waweru taking photos, more than 10 security men surrounded him, beat him to the ground, tore his clothes, confiscated his camera and film, and threatened to shoot him. Waweru said he recognized one of his assailants as someone who had assaulted him two weeks earlier in Nyeri district. When Otieno attempted to take a picture of the commotion, he was attacked, too, and his film was forcibly removed from the camera.

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Kenya

August 5, 1995

Rebecca Nduku, Nation ATTACKED
Elias Makori, Nation ATTACKED
Ochieng Sino, Nation ATTACKED
Richard Nderitu, Nation ATTACKED

(): A group of armed administration policemen (APs) and an assistant chief of the shanty village of Maili Saba in the city of Dandora beat and threatened to kill the photographer Nduku, the reporters Makori and Sino and the driver Nderitu, all with the independent Nation daily. The journalists were covering the demolition of mud houses in the village. During the confrontation, the assistant chief twisted Nduku's arm before confiscating her camera, and APs scuffled with and pinned down Nderitu before snatching film and money from his pockets.

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Kenya

August 10, 1995

Daily Telegraph ATTACKED, , THREATENED
BBC ATTACKED, , THREATENED
KTN ATTACKED, , THREATENED
Nation ATTACKED, , THREATENED
East African Standard ATTACKED, , THREATENED

Journalists from five news outlets were attacked while covering a visit by the secretary general of the SAFINA opposition party, Richard Leakey, to the Nakuru magistrate's court, where the detained human rights activist Koigi wa Wamwere was due to appear. Shortly after Leakey and his colleagues were assaulted with whips, axes, stones and eggs by Kenyan African National Union Party (KANU) officials and youths and Nakuru plainclothes police, the journalists proceeded to the court with the human rights lawyer Paul Muite. Prison guards built a roadblock to deny them access. Muite and his group fled. Riot police joined the prison guards and assaulted the journalists with truncheons from behind while KANU youth-wingers (members of the party's youth section) attacked with whips and rocks from the front. After the melee, the reporters were threatened that they would be killed if they reported this incident. Two journalists were hospitalized for their injuries. CPJ condemned the assault on the journalists in a letter to President Moi and called for an end to attacks on local and foreign journalists in Kenya.

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Kenya

August

BBC World Television CENSORED

The Kenyan government censored a BBC report on the beating of Richard Leakey, a founder of the opposition SAFINA political party, and six journalists, including a BBC stringer. The BBC contracted with the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) to rebroadcast its world television news on KBC stations. The contract between the BBC and KBC stipulated that the government could not interfere with BBC news broadcasts. KBC, on several occasions, was reported to have tampered, without authorization, with news broadcasts about Kenya that the minister of information claimed discredited the government. On Aug. 18, the BBC issued a statement objecting to KBC's interference with the broadcasts and threatened to terminate their contract. Kenya's administration never officially responded, though Information Minister Johnstone Makau stated that the contract would not be renewed unless the tone of BBC reports about Kenya changed. CPJ protested KBC's censorship in a letter to President Moi. The contract between the BBC and KBC expired shortly thereafter and was not renewed.

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Liberia

Year in Review: 1995

Monrovia's press has survived yet another year of harassment and abuse from every sector of the country's factionalized interim government. As a prelude to the scheduled August 1996 elections, the August 1995 Abuja Accord created a Council of State composed of representatives of the most powerful factions and some civilians. However, setbacks at the end of 1995, specifically the escalating conflict between factions, militias and the West African peacekeeping forces (ECOMOG), are dashing hopes that Liberia's most recent peace accord will last much longer.

Anarchy prevails in most rural areas, but ECOMOG forces have managed to maintain some semblance of order in Monrovia. For this reason, the press is restricted to the country's capital; only a few journalists risk punishment by venturing into dangerous terrain to report the news. Reporters who travel outside of Monrovia also risk attack and harassment by ECOMOG soldiers, who frequently confiscate their equipment and prevent them from covering areas under their command.

There are only two radio stations broadcasting in the country. One is operated by Charles Taylor's National Patriotic Front of Liberia, the other by the interim government. All newspapers, except The Inquirer and The Daily Observer, are partisan, defending and promoting their respective factional interests.

In the latter part of the year, the press suffered an increase in the number of incidents of arbitrary detention without charge at the hands of the director of the National Police. In response, the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) spoke out against the treatment of its members, organizing media blackouts and presenting a united front in response to attempts to limit press freedom. CPJ has worked closely with PUL to bring international attention to the harassment of journalists in Liberia and has assisted in successful efforts to secure the release of wrongfully detained members of the press.

The Justice and Peace Commission, a local Catholic nongovernmental organization monitoring human rights in Liberia, began efforts to repeal the law that established the National Communications Policy and Regulatory Commission, created during President Doe's tenure. This commission was granted authority to devise policies governing and licensing all media institutions and employees, and to impose punitive measures it deemed appropriate. Petitions favoring the repeal of this act are being drafted for presentation to the Transitional Legislative Assembly.

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Liberia

April 6, 1995

Benjamin Wilson, The Eye ATTACKED, , HARASSED

Wilson, a journalist for the independent weekly The Eye, was beaten by four policemen under the command of Capt. William Flomo while covering the damages done by Sierra Leonean refugees to the U.N. High Commission for Refugees compound in Monrovia. Wilson, who had photographed the damage, resisted surrendering his camera to the police, who then fired tear gas at him at close range and beat him with a baton. His camera was never returned.

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Liberia

April 26, 1995

Budu Kaisa, BBC Network Africa ATTACKED

A police major at the Labor Ministry in Monrovia attacked BBC Network Africa stringer Kaisa for attempting to retrieve his identification credentials from a police officer. Kaisa sustained injuries to his face and body. Following widespread reports of the beating, the Liberia National Police Director relieved the officer of his duties and jailed him for several hours. Justice Minister Laveli Supuwood, however, reinstated the officer. Labor Minister Thomas Woewiyu issued an apology for the attack.

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Liberia

July 29, 1995

Bill Jarkloh, The News ATTACKED

Journalist Jarkloh of the biweekly The News was beaten unconscious by fighters loyal to the Krahn faction of the United Liberation Movement (ULIMO-K). He was conducting an interview with ULIMO-K leader Roosevelt Johnson at Johnson's Monrovia residence when fighters stormed the place, demanding that Johnson return to his headquarters in Tubmanburg. When Jarkloh attempted to photograph the riot, his camera and tape recorder were confiscated, and he was beaten with an iron rod. West African peacekeepers arrested three of the attackers and turned them over to ULIMO-K high command. Johnson apologized for the attack and promised to return Jarkloh's camera, but no action has been taken to penalize Jarkloh's attackers.

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Liberia

September 29, 1995

James Momoh, The Inquirer ATTACKED

Momoh, a photojournalist for the independent daily Inquirer newspaper, was beaten by West African peacekeepers (ECOMOG). He had traveled to the Firestone Plantation to photograph soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia dismantling a checkpoint and was granted permission to photograph the area after explaining the purpose of his visit to an ECOMOG commander. A senior officer of the Nigerian contingent of ECOMOG stopped him and demanded to know who had granted him authorization to photograph the area. Refusing to listen to Momoh's reply, the commander instructed his soldiers to beat the photographer. They also seized his camera and film and ordered him to leave the area immediately. Momoh filed a formal complaint the following day at ECOMOG Headquarters in Monrovia with Press Secretary Frank Akinlola, who informed him that an investigation would be conducted. Nothing conclusive has been reported, and Momoh's camera and film have yet to be returned.

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Malawi

Year in Review: 1995

At the conclusion of President Bakili Muluzi's first year in power, the government's harassment of journalists clearly indicates that the country's new reputation, post-dictator Kamazu Banda, as one of Africa's more liberal environments for freedom of expression is unfounded.

Government interference in the editorial affairs of state-funded Malawi Broadcasting Corp. (MBC) increased in 1995. In April, a memo was posted in the newsroom instructing staff to "play down stories that attack the government's 'failure' to maintain security in the country." The result of such actions is an increase in MBC's self-censorship.

Radio broadcasting is still state owned and operated. Private broadcasters continue to wage a battle with the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting, Posts and Telecommunications in a bid to obtain broadcasting licenses. The ministry has sole rights over issuance of licenses and, to date, the only private broadcasters to whom it has granted broadcast rights are overseas religious organizations. Terms of a government agreement with an American corporation to launch the country's second radio channel and a new television station by mid-1996 have yet to be made public. It is unclear who will control these new stations.

Recently, parliament passed bills limiting press freedom, but Muluzi has hesitated to sign them in their current form. One such bill, the Printed Publications Bill, would require that publishers divulge the names of all their authors so that officials would know "those who write critically of the government." Failure to divulge this information would result in fines and two years' imprisonment.

Rapidly increasing printing costs, the scarcity of advertisers and the government's practice of advertising only in state-owned newspapers are some of the market factors causing cash-flow problems for most newspapers. These problems are severe and, along with circulation, will help determine which papers will survive.

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Malawi

May 16, 1995

Albert Ndarama, Malawi Broadcasting Corp. (MBC) HARASSED

Ndarama was dismissed from his post as head of the current affairs desk at MBC for what he believed to be political reasons. Ndarama's notice of dismissal came the day after his radio program carried an excerpt from the speech of opposition Malawi Congress Party vice president Gwanda Chakuamba, in which Chakuamba accused the government of misappropriating funds from the Poverty Alleviation Program. Administrators at MBC contended that Ndarama was dismissed because he was past retirement age, and that he had already been officially retired.

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Malawi

May 16, 1995

Richard Chide, Daily Times THREATENED, HARASSED

Chide, a journalist with the opposition newspaper Daily Times, was threatened by market traders and vendors for a story he wrote about the police seizure of arms at the Lilongwe Market. More than 20 vendors stormed the offices of the Daily Times, owned by former President Kamuzu Banda, took Chide to the Malawi Broadcasting Corp. (MBC) and tried to force him to apologize on the air for the article. MBC staff refused to record the apology, at which time the vendors threatened to kill Chide.

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Malawi

August 21, 1995

Chinyeke Tembo, Nation HARASSED, LEGAL, ACTION

Tembo, a reporter for the independent newspaper Nation, was threatened with imprisonment for refusing to testify on behalf of the state against the president, Kamlepo Kaula, and vice-president, Unanei Banda, of the opposition Malawi Democratic Party (MDP), who were being tried for making allegedly intimidating statements at a July 24 press conference. When Tembo's article on the press conference appeared, police questioned him and seized his notebook and tape recording of the conference. Tembo stated that he refused to testify as state witness because the press conference was a public event. The case is still pending.

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Malawi

November 22, 1995

Akwete Sande, The Tribute HARASSED

Sande, editor and publisher of the independent newspaper The Tribute, was arrested after refusing to reveal sources for an article about an alleged plot by an opposition group and the vice president's bodyguards to assassinate President Muluzi. Police headquarters claimed that Sande was arrested because he could not provide enough evidence of the alleged assassination plot. He was released on bail the next day. He was later charged with "publication of false information likely to cause fear and public alarm." The case has yet to come to trial.

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Mauritius

Year in Review: 1995

In August 1995, the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius became the 12th member of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). However, respect for media freedom and free expression was not a condition for Mauritius' acceptance into the SADC fold. In theory, Mauritius--like all other SADC members--is to be held accountable to the 1991 Windhoek Declaration on Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press. But conflicts between fundamentalist and conservative elements in the Muslim, Hindu and Catholic communities polarized Mauritian media, politics and society, seriously undermining press freedom.

The editor Namassiwayam Ramalingum went into hiding in March, when, as a result of republishing an article from a French publication in his newspaper, his office was firebombed and a religious leader publicly issued a fatwa calling for Ramalingum's death. Individual European ambassadors and the president of the European Union took up Ramalingum's case, using "quiet diplomacy" as a strategy in their negotiations with Prime Minister Sir Anerood Jugnauth to end the threats against the editor. CPJ strongly condemned the government's failure to bring the editor's attackers to justice.

The year closed with the political opposition sweeping the island's parliamentary elections. The opposition alliance led by Navin Ramgoolam and Paul Berenger seized all 60 elected parliament seats, including Prime Minister Jugnauth's own constituency. It is too early to tell whether protecting press freedom will be a priority for the new parliament.

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Mauritius

March 17, 1995

Namassiwayam Ramalingum, L'Independent ATTACKED, , THREATENED, CENSORED

A fatwa (religious edict) calling for the death of Ramalingum, editor in chief of the weekly bilingual L'Indépendent, was issued on March 17 by leaders of the Mauritian Islamic Community. On March 12, the offices and printing press of the newspaper had been firebombed. On March 10, Muslim militants vowed to prevent vendors from selling the paper in a predominately Muslim part of Port Louis, the capital. The threats against Ramalingum and the attacks on his paper appear to have stemmed from L'Indépendent's reprinting an article about the prophet Muhammad, originally published in the Paris-based weekly Le Point. The government has taken no measure to halt the threats or investigate the attacks. Ramalingum, who left the island on March 27 on advice of the police but returned in late May, has been living in hiding. The paper remains closed and the fatwa in effect. CPJ protested the failure of Mauritian authorities to bring Ramalingum's attackers to justice.

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Mozambique

Year in Review: 1995

The ruling party, Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (Frelimo), dominated the media prior to and during the October 1994 elections, but new privately owned publications are successfully challenging the state-owned media's monopoly on the flow of information in the marketplace. Several factors that will determine the viability of these new newspapers are limited advertising revenue, an estimated 70 percent illiteracy rate, a language barrier (75 percent of the population does not speak the official language, Portuguese) and the average citizen's low wages.

Article 74 of the Mozambican constitution specifically guarantees freedom of the press and freedom of expression. However, one major impediment to true press freedom still exists: The country's press law requires that directors and chief executives of publicly owned media be appointed by the government.

Mozambicans continue to have virtually no outlets where they can freely express their views. Radio remains the only mass medium that reaches the majority of the population. However, economic hardship, reflected in a lack of working radios and a scarcity of batteries, prevents broadcasts from reaching citizens living in the countryside. Television, like newspapers, is restricted to urban areas.

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Mozambique

October 26, 1995

Domingo LEGAL, ACTION

MEDIACOOP, the independent media cooperative and publisher of the weekly Savana newspaper, brought criminal charges against the Sunday newspaper Domingo and against Chief of Police Domingos Maita for defamation. Domingo published an article on Oct. 22 in which it quoted Maita as saying that the costs of the airfare and accommodation for two Savana journalists who went to Nampulato to investigate alleged drug trafficking were paid by the same businessman who was arrested as a result of those journalists' articles. The police chief was also quoted as dismissing Savana's claims that police apprehended the wrong person.

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Mozambique

December 15, 1995

Joseph Hanlon, Free-lancer HARASSED

U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique Dennis Jett banned American journalist and author Hanlon from speaking to any staff in the embassy or the U.S. Agency for International Development, including those staff members who wanted to speak to Hanlon. Hanlon said he has had little difficulty interviewing U.S. officials in the past, especially during the pacification and election periods. Hanlon's reports have frequently been critical of U.S. policy in Mozambique. It is uncertain how long the ban will remain in effect.

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Namibia

Year in Review: 1995

On March 21, 1995, as Namibia celebrated five years of independence, journalists braced themselves for an uncertain future. Government interference and harsh rhetoric signaled an end to the era of goodwill toward the press.

The Namibian Broadcasting Corp. (NBC) was the target of escalating government efforts to constrain freedom of expression. In April, the 10-member NBC board was replaced by government appointees, most of whom were members of the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) ruling party; none had previous broadcasting experience. Since then, the NBC newsroom was ordered to run unedited footage of a press conference held by President Sam Nujoma, video footage has disappeared from NBC archives, and a call-in radio program was suspended after callers made threats against government officials.

Prime Minister Hage Geingob's accusation that the media is "waging a war of disinformation" against the government, and Security Advisor Peter Tshirumbu's statement that "it is the patriotic duty of journalists to share information with the Namibia Security Intelligence Agency" are clear indications that the coming year will be a challenging one for independent journalists. However, it remains to be seen whether the media will persist in a lack of collective resistance to these strong-arm tactics or will mobilize to effectively resist government efforts to undermine free expression.

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Namibia

August 18, 1995

John Lienbenberg, Free-lance HARASSED

Lienbenberg, a free-lance photographer, was arrested while attempting to photograph the clubbing of seals during the controversial, government-approved annual seal harvest. Liebenberg was held for several hours at Cape Cross seal colony on Namibia's Atlantic coastline by Ministry of Fisheries officials before being taken to the coastal town of Swakopmund, where he paid a fine of N$100 (US$30) for "trespassing." Several news agencies had applied for permission to photograph the seal harvest, but all applications had been turned down.

Send inquiries to CPJ's Africa Program.


Nigeria

Year in Review: 1995

Gen. Sani Abacha, Nigeria's military dictator, escalated his war on the beleaguered independent press in 1995. Abacha continued to use every weapon in his arsenal to intimidate journalists, including detention without charge; enactment of military decrees; secret trials, without charge or representation, by special military tribunal; assault, interrogation and torture by the police and State Security Service (SSS) agents; office bombings; and bans and seizures of publications.

Armed anti-riot policemen and SSS agents were routinely dispatched to seize publications and arrest personnel of the independent press. These maneuvers were often carried out simultaneously at a number of press offices and residences. Some journalists' family members have been targeted for retaliation by SSS agents whose efforts to arrest those journalists are thwarted. For example, after police failed in their attempt to arrest Dapo Olorunyomi, editor in chief of TheNEWS magazine, they detained his wife and their 3-month-old infant. After AM News correspondent Tayo Lukula went into hiding following threats from SSS agents (for his coverage of the executions of Ken Saro-Wiwa, a writer and leading advocate of the rights of the Ogoni people, and eight other Ogoni activists), Lukula's home and his wife's private business were sealed and placed under 24-hour surveillance.

The secret trial by a military tribunal and July conviction of The Sunday Magazine publisher and editor in chief Christine Anyanwu, the Weekend Classique editor Ben Charles Obi, the Tell magazine assistant editor George Mbah and TheNEWS editor in chief Kunle Ajibade for coverage of, and alleged complicity in, a suspected coup plot, illuminated the lengths to which Abacha's regime will go to restrict the press. CPJ initiated international protests against the secret trial of the four journalists allegedly involved in plotting a coup and received correspondence from the government in response. The journalists' original sentence of 25 years to life imprisonment was later reduced to 15 years.

Undaunted, Nigeria's 136-year-old press, one of the oldest and most outspoken on the continent, still manages to produce 21 daily and 22 weekly newspapers and 19 weekly newsmagazines, the majority of which are privately owned. The fact that journalists struggle to publish and to remain financially viable under the current siege testifies to their professionalism and sheer ingenuity. They manage to work in hiding, publish with police stationed at printing presses and disseminate information to fellow citizens despite the fact that police seize entire editions from the newsstands. The government's attempts to restrict press freedom reached a new low in June, when state-manufactured counterfeit issues of Tell, The Sunday Magazine, TheNEWS and Tempo materialized on Lagos and Port Harcourt newsstands, to the derision and consternation of the public and the press.

The judiciary struggles to balance a legal obligation to defend press freedom with a more pragmatic accountability to its military bosses. Rare courtroom victories for the press are usually short-lived. In those few instances when the judiciary finds in favor of an editor being tried on government charges, Abacha retaliates by simply issuing decrees that proscribe offending publications. To further ensure enforcement of these decrees, the Military Government (Supremacy and Enforcement of Powers) Decree 12 of 1994 was enacted to deny the courts' authority to contravene government actions.

The year came to a close with a rash of bombings, seizures of publications and the detention without charge of Nosa Igiebor, a 1993 recipient of CPJ's International Press Freedom Award.

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Nigeria

January 25, 1995

Sani Abdullahi, Voice of America (VOA) IMPRISONED
Yusuf Dingyadi, BBC World Service IMPRISONED

Abdullahi and Dingyadi, reporters for the Hausa Language Services of VOA and the BBC, respectively, were arrested in the northern city of Sokoto following their broadcasts on a Jan. 24 Muslim mob attack on a Christian market vendor accused of blasphemy against Islam. The two were detained for airing allegedly inaccurate information and spreading false information. Both were released on Feb. 1, after the Nigerian Union of Journalists, the BBC and VOA appealed on their behalf to the military administrator of Sokoto.

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Nigeria

March

Dapo Olorunyomi, TheNEWS, Tempo and Tempofootball THREATENED

Olorunyomi, the editor in chief of the weekly magazines TheNEWS, Tempo and Tempofootball, was named in March by Gen. Abacha as one of 40 people allegedly involved in plotting a coup and went into hiding to avoid arrest. In May TheNEWS editor Kunle Ajibade was arrested and, when he refused to reveal his sources for an article published in The NEWS about the alleged coup plot or to implicate Olorunyomi, was charged with treason and convicted to 15 years in prison. Fearing for his life, Olorunyomi has remained in hiding.

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Nigeria

March

Olufisayo Alabi, Osun Voice IMPRISONED

Security agents in Osun state arrested Alabi, publisher of the Oshogbo-based community newspaper Osun Voice, after a story called "Udofia's Administration: The Reign of Agony" appeared in the Feb. 19 edition.

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Nigeria

March 10, 1995

Bookmate Nigeria Ltd. HARASSED

State Security Service agents conducted a search for the editors of all the publications of Bookmate Nigeria Ltd., publishers of several Nigerian independent newspapers and magazines. The publishers moved their office to an undisclosed location to escape harassment.

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Nigeria

March 10, 1995

Bayo Onanuga, TheNEWS Group and Tempo IMPRISONED

Onanuga, the editor in chief of TheNEWS Group, was arrested and detained at the Shangisha Detention Center for five days. Then he was transferred to the Federal Investigation and Intelligence Bureau (FIIB) at Alagbon Close, outside Lagos. He was released on March 22 and ordered to report daily to the FIIB. On March 29, Onanuga was arraigned and charged with publishing false news. The charge referred to a March 16 article in Tempo, called "Fresh Epidemic Outbreak," about an alleged attempted coup. Onanuga was released on a bond of 50,000 naira (US$610). He has been in and out of hiding since the arraignment.

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Nigeria

March 15, 1995

Goddy Enweremadu, Champion Newspapers HARASSED

Enweremadu, the Abuja bureau chief and State House reporter for Champion Newspapers, publisher of the private pro-government newspapers Daily Champion and Sunday Champion, was detained briefly and interrogated by State Security Service agents about a March 15 story, "No Amnesty for Coup Plotters: Diya." The agents accused Enweremadu of misrepresenting Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Oladipo Diya.

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Nigeria

March 15, 1995

Christine Anyanwu, The Sunday Magazine IMPRISONED

Anyanwu, publisher and editor in chief of the privately owned The Sunday Magazine, was arrested and held for one week on two criminal charges, conspiracy and publishing false news. The chief magistrate in Lagos alleged that Anyanwu conspired to cause fear and alarm to disturb the public peace with the March 19 articles "Coup Update: Bloodbath Soon" and "Echoes of Coup Rock the Nation." She was released on a bond of 50,000 naira (US$610).

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Nigeria

April 3, 1995

Bala Dan Abu, Majesty Weekly IMPRISONED

Abu, editor in chief of the private tabloid Majesty Weekly, was arrested by State Security Service officers in Lagos. No official reason was given for the arrest, but reportedly it was in connection with his paper's publication of a front-page article called "Problem Pure Abiola." He was released two days later.

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Nigeria

May 1, 1995

Ben Charles Obi, Weekend Classique IMPRISONED

Obi, the editor of the weekly newsmagazine Weekend Classique, was arrested for his reports on an alleged attempted coup in March. In July, he and Christine Anyanwu of The Sunday Magazine were tried by a special military tribunal, and both were given life sentences. On Oct. 1, Nigeria's Independence Day, the Provisional Ruling Council commuted their sentences to 15 years in prison. Obi and Anyanwu have since been transferred to a prison in Bama, northeastern Nigeria, notorious for its poor conditions. On four occasions, CPJ protested the arrests in letters to the Abacha government and called for the journalists' immediate and unconditional release.

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Nigeria

May 5, 1995

Kunle Ajibade, TheNEWS IMPRISONED

Police arrested Ajibade, editor in chief of

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Nigeria

May 5, 1995

George Mbah, Tell IMPRISONED

Mbah, assistant editor of Tell, was arrested by soldiers for contributing to a report about a military officer who died during interrogation regarding his involvement in an alleged coup plot. In July, Mbah and Kunle Ajibade of TheNEWS were secretly tried by a special military tribunal, charged with being accessories to treasonable felony and sentenced to prison terms of undisclosed length. On Oct. 1, Nigeria's Independence Day, the Provisional Ruling Council amended their sentences to 15 years in prison. Mbah and Ajibade have since been transferred to a prison in Bama, northeastern Nigeria, notorious for its poor conditions. There are reports that Mbah, who suffers from epilepsy, is consistently denied his medication. On four occasions, CPJ protested the arrests in letters to the Abacha government and called for the journalists' immediate and unconditional release. CPJ also demanded that Mbah receive prompt and proper medical care.

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Nigeria

May 16, 1995

Chido Onoma, PM News IMPRISONED

Onoma, a reporter for PM News, was arrested and held in the State Security Detention Center in Shangisha, Lagos, in retaliation for a story he wrote implicating Gen. Oladipo Diya, chief of general staff and Gen. Abacha's second in command, in a corruption scandal. CPJ protested his arrest and demanded his release in a letter to Abacha on June 9. Onoma was released in July.

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Nigeria

May

Christine Anyanwu, The Sunday Magazine IMPRISONED

Anyanwu, publisher and editor in chief of The Sunday Magazine, was rearrested after having been held in detention for a week in March for her reports on the alleged March coup plot. She was secretly tried with Ben Charles Obi, editor of Weekend Classique, before a special military tribunal in July. Both were given life sentences. On Oct. 1, Nigeria's Independence Day, the Provisional Ruling Council commuted their sentences to 15 years in prison. Anyanwu and Obi have since been transferred to a prison in Bama, northeastern Nigeria, notorious for its poor conditions. On four occasions, CPJ protested the arrests in letters to the Abacha government and called for the journalists' immediate and unconditional release.

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Nigeria

May 31, 1995

Frank Aigbogun, Vanguard THREATENED, HARASSED, LEGAL, ACTION
Nosa Igiebor, Tell THREATENED, HARASSED, LEGAL, ACTION
Bayo Onanuga, TheNEWS Group THREATENED, HARASSED, LEGAL, ACTION
Staff at Vanguard, Tell and TheNews Group THREATENED, HARASSED, LEGAL, ACTION

An Abuja High Court charged Vanguard editor Aigbogun, Tell editor in chief Igiebor and TheNEWS Group editor in chief Onanuga with contempt of court and ordered their immediate arrest. Fearing prolonged incarceration, the three editors went into hiding. The arrest orders were issued after the editors' papers reported that the Abuja High Court was being used by the government to stop a conference of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA). The NMA has called for President-elect Moshood Abiola's immediate release from prison. During their search for the three editors, State Security Service agents virtually laid siege to their newspaper offices, intimidating other staff editors and reporters and severely restricting their right to freedom of movement. CPJ, in its June 9 letter to Gen. Abacha, condemned the Abuja High Court order. Aigbogun explained in a letter to the High Court after the order was issued that he was hospitalized and unable to appear before the court; Igiebor resurfaced several weeks after the court order; Onanuga remains underground.

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Nigeria

June

Babafemi Ojudu, AM News IMPRISONED

Ojudu, a reporter for the daily newspaper AM News, was arrested at a Lagos bus stop and jailed for 10 days in retaliation for his article about a man who went to a police station for help and was robbed and killed there.

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Nigeria

June 8, 1995

The Concord Group CENSORED
The Punch Group CENSORED
The Guardian Group CENSORED

The day Punch resumed publication after the government's second six-month ban on it expired, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice Michael Agbamuche announced a third six-month extension of the ban on the publications of the Punch, Concord and Guardian groups. All three groups, which together comprise 15 publications and employ thousands of journalists, had declared President-elect Moshood Abiola, Concord Group owner, the country's legitimate leader. In July 1995, the publisher of the Guardian Group, Alex Ibru, a former minister in Gen. Abacha's cabinet, offered an "unreserved apology" to the government, immediately after which the 11-month ban on the Guardian Group was lifted. On Oct. 1, Nigeria's Independence Day, Abacha lifted the ban on the Punch and Concord groups.

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Nigeria

July 26, 1995

Wole Abeyemo, Tell HARASSED
Femi Shobowale, BBC HARASSED
Journalists at press briefing HARASSED

Police surrounded the law offices of Tunji Abayomi, a lawyer for the detained human rights activist and former president Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, where Abayomi had called a press conference to deny that his client and 40 others convicted by a secret military tribunal on July 14 were involved in the alleged March coup plot. Journalists who were present at the press briefing were frisked, and their identification, notebooks and tape recorders were confiscated. Tell reporter Abeyemo and BBC stringer Shobowale were arrested along with Abayomi and taken to the headquarters of the State Security Service. The two journalists were interrogated for five hours and warned not to carry the text of Abayomi's statement in their news stories. CPJ condemned the harassment in a letter to the Abacha government.

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Nigeria

August

Osa Director, Tell IMPRISONED, ATTACKED

Director, northern bureau chief for Tell magazine, was arrested in mid-August in retaliation for writing reports criticizing the regime. He was tortured in custody and released on bail on Oct. 6.

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Nigeria

August 4, 1995

Fred Eno, African Concord IMPRISONED
Olu Akerele, African Concord IMPRISONED

Eno, a staff writer with the then-proscribed African Concord newspaper and senior aide to President-elect Moshood Abiola, was arrested. No official reason was given for the arrest, which came during one of Gen. Abacha's clampdowns on the press after the ban on Guardian publications was lifted. Abacha ordered the release of Eno and three other political prisoners on Jan. 1, 1996, as a concession to international pressure after the execution of nine Ogoni activists, including Ken Saro-Wiwa. Akerele was still in custody at the end of the year.

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Nigeria

September 7, 1995

Chris Mamah, The Week IMPRISONED
Godwin Agbroko, The Week IMPRISONED

Mamah, the managing editor of the privately owned magazine The Week, and Adbroko, one of the magazine's reporters, were arrested by agents of the State Security Service after an article about the struggle for succession set off by Gen. Abacha's deteriorating health appeared in The Week.

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Nigeria

November 27, 1995

Tayo Lukula, AM News THREATENED, HARASSED

Lukula, Port Harcourt correspondent for the daily newspaper AM News, went into hiding after soldiers sealed off his residence and his spouse's business. Authorities reportedly were searching for Lukula because of his coverage of the Nov. 10 hanging of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni activists.

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Nigeria

November 27, 1995

Chucks Ehirim, AM News THREATENED

Ehirim, a reporter for AM News, was declared "wanted" by the State Security Service for his reports on the persecution of the Ogoni people and other human rights issues. He has been in hiding since Nov. 27.

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Nigeria

December 15, 1995

The Guardian ATTACKED

At 2 a.m., armed arsonists set fire to the circulation department of The Guardian. The fire was quickly brought under control and damage was minimal.

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Nigeria

December 15, 1995

Adedisi Dejo, Tell ATTACKED, , HARASSED
Emmanuel Piper, Tell ATTACKED, , HARASSED
Yeni Oldwolabi, Tell ATTACKED, , HARASSED
Iyi Isaac, Tell ATTACKED, , HARASSED
Tell ATTACKED, , HARASSED

The four Tell reporters were detained and questioned about the whereabouts of the magazine's senior editors, who had gone into hiding after State Security Service agents ransacked the magazine's offices. The reporters were released after refusing to disclose the information.

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Nigeria

December 16, 1995

AM News ATTACKED

Ten State Security Service agents broke into and occupied the offices of the daily newspaper AM News, demanding to know the whereabouts of its editor in chief, Bayo Onanuga, whom they had orders to arrest. Onanuga was in hiding for the latter part of the year.

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Nigeria

December 17, 1995

Tell CENSORED

Six State Security Service agents seized all 55,000 copies of the Dec. 18 edition of the independent weekly Tell magazine from the printer. The cover title was "Abiola's Freedom: The World Waits for Abacha."

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Nigeria

December 19, 1995

Bayo Ewuoso, AM News ATTACKED, , THREATENED, HARASSED
Abiodun Ajala, This Day ATTACKED, , THREATENED, HARASSED
Segun Olakitan, Tell ATTACKED, , THREATENED, HARASSED
Peter Obe, Free-lancer ATTACKED, , THREATENED, HARASSED

The four photojournalists were covering a pro-democracy rally in Lagos called by the National Democratic Coalition when they were arrested for taking pictures of police firing tear gas to disperse the crowd. Ewuoso was abducted, severely assaulted by 10 policemen, then detained at the Surulere Police Station for five hours of interrogation. He was warned by police to "stay out of trouble areas in the future." Obe, Ajala and Olakitan were also beaten and seriously injured. Ajala and Olakitan were rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment.

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Nigeria

December 20, 1995

Tempo CENSORED
Tell CENSORED

Police from the Federal Intelligence Investigation Bureau arrested Lagos vendor Olabisi Akintoye for possession of what the assistant superintendent of police described as "unpatriotic magazines." The police said that Akintoye was in possession of 5,000 copies each of Tempo and Tell magazines, which he intended to export to England. The police claimed the magazines contained "serious anti-government articles." Akintoye was released on bail of 5,000 naira (US$61), and a hearing was set for February 1996.

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Nigeria

December 23, 1995

Nosa Igiebor, Tell IMPRISONED, CENSORED
Tell IMPRISONED, CENSORED

Igiebor, the editor in chief of Tell magazine, was arrested by six members of the State Security Service (SSS) at his home in Lagos. Authorities demanded that he reveal his sources for articles critical of the government and accused him of receiving financial support from "outsiders." On the day of his arrest, SSS agents seized 20,000 copies of Tell's Christmas Day edition, which featured the cover story "Abacha Is Adamant: Terrorizes the Opposition." Igiebor, recipient of the 1993 CPJ International Press Freedom Award, remains in solitary confinement without charge. CPJ protested the arrest and confiscations and demanded his immediate release in both a letter to Gen. Abacha and a press release.

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Nigeria

December 23, 1995

Onome Osifo-Whiskey, Tell ATTACKED, , THREATENED

State Security Service agents raided the home of Tell's managing editor, Osifo-Whiskey, shortly after the arrest of Tell's editor in chief, Nosa Igiebor. Osifo-Whiskey escaped and went into hiding.

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Nigeria

December 31, 1995

Independent Communications Network Ltd. ATTACKED

Arsonists used a gasoline bomb to set fire to the office of the magazine division of the Independent Communications Network Ltd., publishers of TheNEWS Group, Tempo and Tempofootball. The office, which housed the newsroom and production center of all three magazines, was the only floor of the four-story building to be attacked. Extensive damage forced a two-week suspension of publication. There were no casualties. In a letter to Gen. Abacha, CPJ condemned the bombing and demanded an independent investigation.

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Rwanda

Year in Review: 1995

Throughout 1995, Rwanda's independent press continued to be the target of assassinations, assaults, kidnappings, detention and censorship at the hands of both the Tutsi-dominated government and the Hutu rebel forces. Journalists, particularly those who worked prior to the civil war, were considered guilty before trial. Hutu and Tutsi journalists alike were singled out by all sides as killers, collaborators or propagandists. Attacks often occurred in public to discourage the limited freedom of expression that currently exists.

"Hate media," which was a catalyst for the genocide of recent years, continued to encourage feuds between political and ethnic groups--sometimes calling for violence against members of the press. Broadcast media is state controlled, and in light of the continued radio transmissions of "hate" material from neighboring countries, it is unlikely that the government will grant licenses to private radio stations.

In an attempt to control its international profile, the government barred international television crews from transmitting images abroad, via foreign-owned satellite dishes, after a massacre of refugees. Similar efforts to silence the local press have included the seizure, or outright ban, of newspapers. In light of the government's tenuous hold on the country's internal affairs, it is unlikely that the situation for the independent press will improve in the near future.

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Rwanda

January 29, 1995

Edouard Mutsinzi, Le Messager ATTACKED

Mutsinzi, former editor in chief of Le Messager, an independent newspaper, was attacked in a bar in Kigali by a group of approximately five men armed with knives and guns. His attackers stabbed him in the face, legs and arms. Mutsinzi, who was in a coma for three days after the attack, lost one eye and the ability to speak. He remains paralyzed on the right side. The attack is believed to have been in retaliation for articles published in Le Messager that criticized the government.

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Rwanda

April

Fidel Mpabwanimana, Radio Rwanda IMPRISONED

Mpabwanimana, a reporter for state-owned Radio Rwanda, was imprisoned by unidentified soldiers for two weeks in the southern town of Cyangugu after the army killed hundreds of displaced Hutus in the southwestern camp of Kibeho. His case remains under investigation.

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Rwanda

April 25, 1995

ABC CENSORED
Associated Press Television (APTV) CENSORED
BBC CENSORED
CBS CENSORED
CNN CENSORED
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) CENSORED

The Rwandan government, increasingly concerned about bad publicity abroad, barred foreign television news crews from sending images home via satellite dish. Two dishes, used by CNN, ABC, CBS, BBC, CBC and APTV, were declared off-limits. The dishes are owned by the European Broadcasting Union, an association of broadcasters who share transmission facilities, and by Newsforce, a company that rents equipment to news organizations. The TV news crews secured alternative means of transmission.

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Rwanda

May 2, 1995

Andre Sibomana, Kinyamateka THREATENED

Sibomana, the editor in chief of the independent bimonthly Catholic newspaper Kinyamateka, went into hiding for three days in early May after he was threatened with arrest by security forces. Sibomana had been ordered (by the head of intelligence for the Rwandan Patriotic Front [RPF] in the Gitarama region) to locate witnesses to the killings of three bishops in 1994. Following international pressure and media coverage of his persecution, security forces lessened their surveillance of Sibomana, and he was able to come out of hiding.

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Rwanda

May 12, 1995

Isaie Niyoyita, Le Messager THREATENED, HARASSED, CENSORED
Le Messager THREATENED, HARASSED, CENSORED

Niyoyita, who became the editor of the independent Le Messager newspaper after Mutsinzi, the previous editor, was attacked in late January, was served a summons by Inspector of Police for Judical Affairs Jean-Baptiste Kasungu from the Public Prosecutor's office. Niyoyita was accused of writing articles that "sowed hatred between the population and the government." He was warned that he would be jailed if articles in an issue already at the printer were published. Kasungu then seized the paper as it was being printed. That issue would have been the first Le Messager to appear since April 8, when Niyoyita suspended its publication after threats were made against it on Radio Rwanda.

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Rwanda

May 29, 1995

Le Tribun du Peuple ATTACKED, , CENSORED

Under orders from the minister of justice, Inspector of Police for Judicial Affairs Jean-Baptiste Kasunga seized the May 29 issue of the independent weekly Le Tribun du Peuple. When the editor Jean-Pierre Mugabe appeared the next day in the public prosecutor's office in Kigali, the Ministry of Information stated that it had no knowledge of the seizure. The seizure is said to have been in response to an article alleging that the minister of tourism supported the Internationale Democrate Chrétienne (Christian Democratic International), an organization linked to the former regime.

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Rwanda

August 19, 1995

Manasse Mugabo, United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR) Radio MISSING

Mugabo, director of the UNAMIR radio service, left Kigali to go on holiday in Uganda on Aug. 19 and has not been heard from since.

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Sierra Leone

Year in Review: 1995

Capt. Valentine Strasser and his National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC) continued in 1995 to attack the beleaguered independent press for its coverage of government corruption, human rights abuses and the ongoing war against Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels. Journalists are regularly detained without charge by the NPRC for publishing "annoying" articles.

This has resulted in scant coverage of the tragic effects of a war in which civilians are the targets of brutal terror campaigns waged by both the RUF and the NPRC.

The protracted sedition trial of New Breed managing editor Julius Spencer, acting editor Donald John, sales manager Alfred Conteh and printer Alusine Basiru ended in August after 22 months. The accused were found guilty on 10 counts of seditious libel and received stiff fines for publishing an article linking the NPRC to corruption and diamond smuggling.

In December, the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), which represents 11 regularly published newspapers, faced a critical challenge when newspaper vendors demanded a percentage of a cover price increase instituted to offset a rise in production costs. SLAJ balked, and vendors staged a boycott preventing some newspapers from appearing on newsstands. Editors refused to compromise and currently are pursuing alternative means of distribution.

Despite the lifting of the ban on political parties in June, the independent press, which covers opposition parties freely, continues to exercise self-censorship in coverage of the newly formed NPRC political party, the National Unity Party (NUP). An atmosphere of skepticism prevails regarding the upcoming February 1996 elections.

Many journalists who fled to the Gambia to avoid NPRC persecution are repatriated and immediately detained upon their return to Sierra Leone. In October, CPJ successfully secured the release of repatriated Daily Observer journalist Chernor Ojuku Sesay after discussions with the director of the Criminal Investigations Division.

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Sierra Leone

January 9, 1995

Siaka Massaquoi, Vision ATTACKED, , HARASSED
Chernor Ojukwu Sesay, Free-lancer ATTACKED, , HARASSED
Vision ATTACKED, , HARASSED

After searching the offices of the weekly newspaper Vision, military police arrested Massaquoi, editor of Vision and president of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), and Sesay, an executive member of SLAJ. They were held for seven hours and ordered to return to the police station the following morning. They were questioned about their possession of a copy of the rebel Revolutionary United Front's anthem (published in 1991). The inquiry surrounding the anthem is believed to be the pretext for the arrest, which followed an editorial Massaquoi wrote criticizing Sierra Leone's military leader, Capt. Strasser, and other military officers for smoking marijuana at a Christmas pop concert while rebels were launching an offensive. CPJ protested the harassment.

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Sierra Leone

February 24, 1995

Richard Olugordon, For di People IMPRISONED

Olugordon, senior correspondent for the independent weekly For di People, was arrested by police when he applied for permission to travel to England. Olugordon was interrogated twice about his connections with the newspaper and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), and he was accused of being RUF's chief spokesperson. He was released on March 7 without charge. CPJ protested his arrest.

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Sierra Leone

March 13, 1995

Rowland Martyn, Week End Spark IMPRISONED

Martyn, a journalist for the weekly Week End Spark, was arrested by agents of the Central Investigation Department (CID) and held for 10 days without charge. The CID agents were attempting to locate the source of a photograph of an army captain who defected to the Revolutionary United Front. Martyn maintained that the photograph, which appeared in the March 10 edition, came from an unknown source. CPJ protested the arrest.

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Sierra Leone

March and April 95

Emmanuel Kabia, Free-lancer THREATENED, HARASSED

Government agents repeatedly harassed free-lance photojournalist Kabia after some two-year-old photographs depicting government acts of brutality appeared in several British newspapers, including The Guardian, earlier in the year. On April 5, agents demanded that he hand over the negatives. Kabia reportedly is willing to give up the negatives, but he cannot find them. Kabia went into hiding as the government campaign against him continued. CPJ protested the harassment.

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Sierra Leone

April 13, 1995

Siaka Massaquoi, Vision IMPRISONED
Max Corneh, Vision IMPRISONED

For five days military police detained editor Massaquoi and journalist Corneh of the independent weekly newspaper Vision for an editorial criticizing soldiers for the military's cowardly response to a rebel threat. The government deemed the article a morale booster for the rebels. Massaquoi was also interrogated about his editorial column, "My Thoughts," and about his support for a National Democratic Conference that would bring all warring sides to the negotiating table after a cease-fire. Both journalists were released without charge. CPJ protested the arrests.

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Sierra Leone

June 7, 1995

Paul Kamara, For di People HARASSED

Two days after the first edition of For di People was published, its editor in chief, Kamara, was "invited" to the offices of the Criminal Investigations Division. He was interrogated for some five hours regarding the paper's registration under the regulations issued in 1993. These press regulations had previously been used to close For di People for more than two years. During the interrogation, the paper's editorial staff was criticized for supporting the establishment of a National Democratic Conference. Kamara registered a formal complaint afterward, stating that queries regarding registration were a matter for the Department of Information, not the police. CPJ protested the harassment.

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Sierra Leone

July 12, 1995

Ibrahim Karim-Sei, Standard Times IMPRISONED

Editor Karim-Sei of the independent weekly newspaper Standard Times was "invited" to make a statement at the Criminal Investigations Department regarding a front-page article in the July 10 edition. The article reported on a July 6 conference held by the National Coordinating Committee for Peace (NCCP), a coalition of local human rights and social organizations, at which the NCCP's efforts to resolve Sierra Leone's civil conflict were discussed. An editorial expressing support for the NCCP's activities was published in the same edition. Karim-Sei was released that day, only to be rearrested the next.

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Sierra Leone

August 15, 1995

Julius Spencer, The New Breed LEGAL, ACTION
Donald John, The New Breed LEGAL, ACTION
Alfred Payitie Conteh, The New Breed LEGAL, ACTION
Abdul Alusine Basiru Kargbo, The New Breed LEGAL, ACTION

The four journalists were convicted of sedition and libel and sentenced to serve 12 months in prison or pay fines. The New Breed's managing editor, Spencer, was fined US$500; John, the acting editor, was fined US$312; and Conteh, the sales manager, and Basiru, general manager of the printing press, were fined a total of US$138. The defendants' legal troubles began in October 1993, when The New Breed published an editorial asking the government to respond to an article in the Swedish newspaper Expressen that accused National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC) officials of corruption. After court proceedings lasting 21 months--during which the accused appeared on numerous occasions before the High Court and the Supreme Court, were detained several times and incurred substantial debts--a judgment was handed down. CPJ wrote twice to the NPRC chairman, Capt. Strasser, urging him to drop charges against The New Breed.

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Sierra Leone

August 22, 1995

Paul Kamara, For di People IMPRISONED
Vandi Kollon, Echo IMPRISONED

Kamara, For di People's editor in chief, and Kollon, the editor of the independent weekly Echo, were arrested by military police for allegedly leaking military secrets. The arrests followed each newspaper's Aug. 22 publication of stories on the regime's campaign to clear out rebel bases along several highways from which guerrillas had ambushed soldiers and civilians. After an intervention by the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists, the two were released on Aug. 24 without charge.

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Sierra Leone

October 12, 1995

Chernor Ojuku Sesay IMPRISONED

Upon arrival in Freetown after being deported from the Gambia, Sesay was arrested by the police and held in the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) for six days. No official reason was given for Sesay's arrest, but it was believed that Sesay was held due to his journalistic work in Sierra Leone prior to fleeing to the Gambia. CPJ spoke to the director of the CID and issued a letter of protest urging Sesay's immediate and unconditional release. He was released less than 24 hours later on bond and without charge.

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Somalia

Year in Review: 1995

In March, the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM) withdrew, leaving rival warlords Gen. Mohammed Farah Aidid and Ali Mahdi Mohamed to resume their battle for control of Mogadishu, Baidoa and other large towns throughout Somalia. Rampant lawlessness, combined with the absence of a central government, ensured the lack of protection for freedom of expression.

There is no domestic independent media in Somalia. The country's few independent journalists are free-lancers or local stringers for international media organizations that refuse to base full-time correspondents in Somalia, citing obvious and insurmountable dangers. In February, Italian cameraman Marcello Palmisano was killed when he was mistaken for a businessman involved in a war between rival banana-exporting firms. Foreign reporters continue to work from their bureaus in Nairobi.

Free-lance journalists are routinely harassed and detained by military agents on charges of "serious offenses against the country." Arrests are usually connected to reports broadcast on international radio programs.

In September, a foreign journalist and relief workers were held hostage by Aidid's militia; all the relief organization's resources had been looted and humanitarian operations were effectively destroyed.

In December, the daily newspaper Qaran was banned by an Islamic court in a section of Mogadishu controlled by Ali Mahdi Mohamed for publishing "unholy propaganda or falsehoods." Pro-Mahdi radio broadcasts warned journalists that in punishment for this offense, they would be executed or have their hands cut off.

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Somalia

February 9, 1995

Marcello Palmisano, RAI KILLED, ATTACKED
Carmen Lasorella, RAI ATTACKED

Palmisano, a cameraman for the Italian public television station RAI, was shot and killed on the road to the Mogadishu airport, where he and the reporter Lasorella were to cover the withdrawal of U.N. troops. It is believed the attack on the two Italians was part of a dispute, called the "banana war," between rival banana export firms Somalfruit and Sombana. The journalists were riding in a car belonging to Somalfruit when gunmen riding in Sombana's "technical"--a vehicle mounted with heavy weapons--shot at them, setting their vehicle on fire. Witnesses report that Palmisano was mistaken for a Somalfruit executive. Lasorella survived the attack, sustaining burns to her feet when the car caught fire. After she escaped from the burning car she was robbed and beaten. She was released by the gunmen an hour later.

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Somalia

April 12, 1995

Agence France-Presse (AFP) ATTACKED
Deutsche Press Agentur ATTACKED
BBC ATTACKED
Associated Press (AP) ATTACKED
Al-Hayat ATTACKED

Unidentified gunmen raided and looted the shared offices of AFP, the BBC, AP, the German news agency Deutsche Press Agentur and the London-based Arabic daily Al-Hayat in the Kilometer Four area of south Mogadishu. At least 10 armed assailants stole office equipment, including computers, cameras and televisions, documents and a total of US$1,550. The only staff member present at the scene, an office clerk, said the attack was planned; one of the perpetrators posed as a visitor to gain entry.

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Somalia

September 5, 1995

Ali Musa Abdi, BBC and Agence France-Press (AFP) IMPRISONED

Three armed men abducted Abdi, a stringer for the BBC and AFP, along with several relief workers while he was covering a road opening in south Mogadishu. The other abductees were released after a few hours. The following day, the BBC requested Gen. Aidid's cooperation in the investigation of Abdi's disappearance, to which he agreed after denying any knowledge of the abduction. On Sept. 8, Aidid announced that Abdi had been arrested and would be tried for serious offenses against the country. His arrest stemmed from a report he made on the BBC English-language radio news program "Focus on Africa." CPJ initiated international protests of Abdi's detention to Aidad. Abdi escaped from military custody on Sept. 26. He fled to north Mogadishu, where he is still in danger but continues to report.

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Somalia

December 18, 1995

Qaran CENSORED

An Islamic court in north Mogadishu, an area controlled by faction leader Ali Mahdi Mohamed, ordered the daily newspaper Qaran shut down for publishing an allegedly false article about the bombing of a small plane chartered from Nairobi that landed at a north Mogadishu airstrip. The Islamic court announced that the Qaran journalists would face charges of spreading lies and despondency. To date, they have not been charged. The ban followed a court warning, broadcast by pro-Mahdi radio, that journalists writing "unholy propaganda" or falsehoods will either be executed or

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South Africa

Year in Review: 1995

After acting quickly to neutralize its predemocracy reputation as the continent's premier press freedom offender, South Africa is rapidly becoming the standard against which other African nations are being measured. However, changes in the industry are far from complete. Journalists and publishers now face more daunting structural challenges than those posed by the former apartheid government.

The collapse of the alternative press, which historically maintained editorial autonomy, was swift and far reaching. As previous funding sources disappeared with the advent of the new "normalization," topics that were once solely the domain of the alternative press were quickly absorbed by the mainstream press.

The mainstream press is also reeling from a series of mergers and acquisitions. Today, media ownership has become an issue requiring close scrutiny, as international media barons and local entrepreneurs raise the industry's financial stakes. Undaunted by the skyrocketing costs of printing and distribution that have forced many of the nation's independent publications to fold, the proponents of media commercialization have engaged in a buying frenzy.

In the broadcast media, self-censorship is proving to be a problem. On three occasions, the South African Broadcasting Corp. withdrew scheduled programming in response to public protests and threats of court action. Reregulation of the airwaves is sure to have a significant impact in South Africa, where the majority of the population is either illiterate or functionally illiterate. Freedom of expression will remain an empty concept if large segments of the population remain without access to information and the means to express their views.

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Sudan

Year in Review: 1995

The Muslim fundamentalist-backed regime of Lt. Gen. Omar Hassan al-Bashir has had an iron grip on the media since coming to power in a June 1989 military coup. Since the coup, dozens of journalists have been imprisoned and tortured in unofficial detention centers called "ghost houses." Newspapers were brought under direct control of government bureaucrats and functionaries of the quasi-official ruling party, the National Islamic Front (NIF).

A new press code, adopted in 1993, permitted the establishment of privately owned newspapers and called for the privatization of existing papers. But Sudanese journalists complain that the code restricts coverage of many important issues. Newspapers that have covered sensitive topics, such as the civil war in the south, have been suspended or closed.

In July, Akhar Khabar, a privately owned newspaper, was temporarily suspended after publishing an article that criticized the press law. The paper was shut down in January 1996 for its allegedly irresponsible journalism. In September, the newspaper Al-Rai Al-Akher was suspended for two weeks for publishing an article calling for a referendum on self-determination for southern Sudan. The Sudanese authorities claimed that the piece violated the press law.

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Sudan

Late May

Al-Kura CENSORED
Al-Zalal CENSORED

The government's Press and Publications Council withdrew the publishing licenses of the daily newspaper Al-Kura and the weekly Al-Zalal, effectively banning both of the privately owned, Khartoum-based papers. A government newspaper reported that the council had given the newspapers adequate time to present documents defending themselves against legal charges. In April Al-Kura and Al-Zalal were suspended for their coverage of a faith healer who was subsequently arrested for fraud.

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Sudan

Late June

Azizati CENSORED
Akhbar al-Mujtama CENSORED
Alam al-Nujum CENSORED
Al-Kawakib CENSORED

Azizati, a privately owned paper, was banned by the government's Press and Publications Council for failing to adhere to press regulations. The council also suspended three other papers, Akhbar al-Mujtama, Alam al-Nujum and Al-Kawakib, for the same reasons.

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Sudan

Early July

Akhar Khabar CENSORED

Akhar Khabar, a privately owned newspaper, was suspended. The paper had published an article that criticized Sudan's press law. The suspension was lifted later in the month.

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Sudan

Mid September

Mohieddine Titawi, Al-Rai al-Akher HARASSED, CENSORED
Al-Rai al-Akher HARASSED, CENSORED

The government's Press and Publications Council suspended the privately owned daily Al-Rai al-Akher for two weeks after it called for a referendum on self-determination for southern Sudan. Titawi, the paper's editor in chief, was detained and questioned for two hours in connection with the article.

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Sudan

September 26, 1995

Mohamed Abdel-Khula, Al-Shabiba IMPRISONED
Huda Mahjub, Al-Shabiba IMPRISONED

Abdel-Khula and Mahjub, journalists with the underground Communist newspaper Al-Shabiba, were arrested by Sudanese security agents following public demonstrations in Khartoum on Sept. 25. They were released without charge in November.

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Swaziland

Year in Review: 1995

Swaziland continues to exist without a constitution guaranteeing press freedom or any other basic human rights. The Swazi government, one of the last remaining monarchies in Africa, maintains firm control of the press. Journalists are regularly detained without charge for publishing material critical of the government, especially the director of public prosecutions (DPP), or members of the royal family.

To date there is still only one independent publication, Times of Swaziland; all others are owned by King Mswati III's trust. Currently the Times's fate hangs in the balance because the work permit and visa of the publisher, Douglas Loffler, a British national, are under review. If he is deported, a tactic used previously on other foreign-born journalists, the only independent publication in the country will be silenced after 20 years of operation. The government-owned Swazi Observer, which in recent years began asserting its independence, appears to have significantly toned down its criticism of the government after a campaign of harassment by the DPP.

In Swaziland, which has been under a state of emergency since 1973, the government's method of choice for keeping the media in line is judicial harassment. Journalists are routinely charged in criminal rather than civil court, which means isolating and persecuting individual editors instead of prosecuting corporations. The DPP has an arsenal against which the press has no defense, an arsenal that includes legislation that contravenes international human rights standards and treaties, such as the Criminal Proceedings and Evidence Act (1938) and the Sedition and Subversive Activities Act (1938).

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Swaziland

March 3, 1995

Cyril Dlamini, Swazi Observer HARASSED, LEGAL, ACTION
Vusi Sibisi, Swazi Observer HARASSED, LEGAL, ACTION
Donny Nxumalo, Swazi Observer HARASSED, LEGAL, ACTION
Martin Matse, Swazi Observer HARASSED, LEGAL, ACTION

Police arrested managing editor Dlamini, editor in chief Sibisi, news editor Nxumalo and reporter Matse of the Swazi Observer, a paper owned by a trust of Swaziland's King Mswati III. They were detained overnight and released the next day when a High Court judge granted their appeal for release on bail. They were accused of contravening the Criminal Proceedings and Evidence Act of 1938 by reporting the details of a rape case. Some suspect that the arrest was designed to pre-empt the dissemination of news about illicit car deals linked to the ministers of information and finance, who were both dismissed a few hours prior to the journalists' arrests. On July 27, Matse was acquitted of the charges, while the others were convicted of violating the 1938 act. The paper opted to pay a fine and appeal the verdict. The appeal is still pending. CPJ protested the arrests and legal action.

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Swaziland

May 30, 1995

Douglas Loffler, Times of Swaziland EXPELLED

Loffler, owner of the independent daily Times of Swaziland, was ordered to leave Swaziland by the end of June after the government rejected his work permit renewal application. Loffler, a British citizen, has lived in Swaziland since buying the Times in 1975. He holds a temporary resident's permit. This tactic has been used on other foreign-born journalists. If Loffler is forced to leave, the paper, which is the only independent publication in the country, will cease to exist. His case is still under review. CPJ protested the expulsion order.

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Swaziland

June 6, 1995

Paul Loffler, Times of Swaziland LEGAL, ACTION
Mashumi Twala, Times of Swaziland LEGAL, ACTION
Jeremiah Gule, Swazi Observer LEGAL, ACTION
Cyril Dlamini, Swazi Observer LEGAL, ACTION

Managing director Loffler and editor in chief Twala of the independent Times of Swaziland, and managing director Gule and managing editor Dlamini of the state-owned Swazi Observer were arrested by the director of public prosecutions (DPP) for operating improperly registered, and therefore illegal, publications. For allegedly contravening the Book and Newspapers Act of 1963, each paid US$285 in bail and appeared in court for arraignment. On July 5, the DPP demanded a suspension of both papers until the conclusion of the trial, but the magistrate ruled against this request. After two postponements and a four-day trial, on July 27 the Observer journalists were convicted on 10 counts of violating the registration act. The charges included printing, publishing and distributing the papers from 1984 to 1995 without a valid certificate and failing to print the name and address of the publishers on the front or back page of the paper (this information was, in fact, printed on the inside cover of each paper). The Observer paid a fine totaling approximately US$1,100. They await a date for their appeal. The charges against the Times were withdrawn in mid-August. CPJ protested the legal action.

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Swaziland

June 21, 1995

Walter Dlamini, Times of Swaziland ATTACKED

Dlamini, a photographer for the Times of Swaziland, was attacked by Prince Gubhaphansi, an aide of King Mswati III, in retaliation for photographing him during a student demonstration in front of Lozitha Palace. The police commissioner who witnessed the beating stood by until another aide intervened. The commissioner confiscated the camera; the film was developed at the police station, where the photos are still held. Dlamini was hospitalized, and the newspaper filed assault charges. Nothing conclusive has resulted, nor has the camera been returned. CPJ protested the attack.

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Swaziland

August 2, 1995

Cyril Dlamini, Swazi Observer LEGAL, ACTION
Vusi Sibisi, Swazi Observer LEGAL, ACTION
Donny Nxumalo, Swazi Observer LEGAL, ACTION

Police detained managing editor Dlamini, editor in chief Sibisi and news editor Nxumalo of the state-owned Swazi Observer for one hour before their lawyers managed to secure a High Court hearing, and they were subsequently released on bail. The arrest warrant charged the journalists with contempt of court and defamation. The arrest is believed to be connected to an article, published on Aug. 2, criticizing a magistrate's ruling that the paper and its executives are guilty of an array of charges. No charges have been filed against the journalists.

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Tanzania

Year in Review: 1995

Despite electoral irregularities, opposition candidate and former journalist Benjamin Mkapa assumed the presidency in October after a close race against the incumbent, Ali Hassan Mwinyi. However, Mwinyi's Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party retained an overwhelming majority of seats in the National Assembly, posing a major challenge to Mkapa's government. Early in his presidency, Mkapa vowed to ensure freedom of expression; simultaneously, however, he criticized the ethics of the independent press's election coverage.

The state continues to monopolize broadcast media, limiting access for those who have opposing views. Private radio exists but does not offer political programming. The government restricts private radio broadcasts by limiting their audience to a maximum of 25 percent of the national audience; the publicly owned media have unrestricted rights to transmit nationally.

Circulation of the independent press is limited to major urban areas, leaving rural populations with few outlets for expression or access to information.

Prior to the elections, in a deliberate attempt to silence the press, journalists were routinely charged under the National Security Act for refusing to reveal their sources. Tanzania's myriad censorship laws, whose violation carries heavy fines and/or prison sentences of up to 10 years, were constant challenges for the independent press.

The CCM-created state-run Information Services Department remains the sole distributor of news about government, and any direct contact between the media and government ministries is banned. Journalists view this new organization as yet another mechanism restricting private media--especially in the pre-election period. On numerous occasions, police carried out government censorship of the independent press, raiding printing presses to prevent the publication of unfavorable articles.

In April, after a storm of protest led by the independent Association of Journalists and Media Practitioners, the government indefinitely shelved the Media Professions Regulation Bill proposed in 1994. The bill would have granted the state sweeping powers to license journalists and to create a government-appointed media council. In response, journalists drafted an alternative bill that would place regulation of the media under the control of the existing Media Council of Tanzania, which was formed, with government permission, in February. However, the CCM Secretary for Information and Broadcasting Elikunda Mtango emphasized that the council's creation did not preclude the government's "applying the laws of this country" as it chose to interpret them.

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Tanzania

January

Godfrey Mhando, Mwana-Mama LEGAL, ACTION
Ben Mtobwa, Heko LEGAL, ACTION
Mkumbo Mitula, Mwana-Mama LEGAL, ACTION
Kassim Chande, Free-lancer LEGAL, ACTION
Kembaeli Jeremiah Lema, Business Printers LEGAL, ACTION
Japhet Mashirie, Business Printers LEGAL, ACTION
Pascal Joseph, Business Printers LEGAL, ACTION

Following a December 1994 story in Mwana-Mama, an independent weekly revived after being closed for several years, the Tanzanian government charged its editors Mhando and Mitula; managing editor of the weekly Heko and alleged Mwana-Mama financier Mtobwa; free-lance journalist Chande; and Lema, Mashirie and Joseph of Business Printers with publishing pornography. The story concerned the pornography industry and included reproductions of illegal photographs of nude women that had been edited to conceal breasts and genitals. The group faces up to two years in prison or a fine of 2,000 to 200,000 Tanzanian shillings (US$4 to US$400). The case is still pending. CPJ urged the government to drop the case.

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Tanzania

February 21, 1995

Sam Makila, Majira HARASSED, LEGAL, ACTION
Rashidi Mbuguni, Majira HARASSED, LEGAL, ACTION
Richard Nyaulawa, Majira HARASSED, LEGAL, ACTION

On the morning of Feb. 21, police arrived at the office of the independent daily Majira and arrested editor Makila and publishers Mbuguni and Nyaulawa. The three were taken to the headquarters of the minister of internal affairs, where they were held for the day and interrogated as to their sources for a Feb. 19 article concerning a loan that the government was taking out in order to buy radar equipment, a loan for which it was allegedly using the Zimbabwe national gold reserve as collateral. They were warned that charges would be pressed if they did not reveal their sources, and on March 9 they were officially charged with sedition and disclosure of state secrets. The trial was postponed at least four times and is still pending. They face up to 10 years in prison if convicted. CPJ protested the charges on July 10.

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Tanzania

March 10, 1995

Edina Ndejembi, Free-lancer ATTACKED, , HARASSED, LEGAL, ACTION

While in Moshi covering the arrival of an opposition leader, former Prime Minister Augustine Mrema, free-lance journalist Ndejembi was beaten and detained by paramilitary police after the welcoming crowd was dispersed with tear gas. She was detained for several hours, her shirt was torn and her notebook and camera were confiscated. Police charged her with "using abusive language and insulting a police officer on duty." CPJ protested the police's physical abuse of Ndejembi and the confiscation of her equipment. She was acquitted on June 26.

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Tanzania

July 6, 1995

Yassin Sadiki, Shaba IMPRISONED
Oliver Msuya, Shaba IMPRISONED

Editor Sadiki and publisher Msuya of the independent biweekly Swahili newspaper Shaba were arrested and detained without charge for allegedly disclosing government secrets and thereby contravening the National Security Act, by publishing the details of a leaked letter from the minister of home affairs to the inspector general of police ordering the latter to investigate the personal and public affairs of Augustine Mrema, the head of a leading opposition party, the National Convention for Construction and Reform. CPJ urged Tanzanian officials to immediately and unconditionally release the journalists; they were freed four days later on bail, without charge, though ordered to report regularly to the police.

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The Gambia

Year in Review: 1995

Capt. Yahya Jammeh's Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC) renewed its attacks on the independent press, arbitrarily detaining, harassing and beating journalists. Two newspapers, The Point and The Daily Observer, continued to bear the brunt of the military regime's abuse.

Bolstered by arbitrary decrees that have rendered the legal system ineffective, the military regime has routinely hauled journalists into court for publishing articles it disapproves of. AFPRC Decree No. 3, which bans the publication of opposing political viewpoints, has been used by the regime to effectively silence the majority of the independent press. AFPRC Decree No. 4, issued in July, granted the National Intelligence Agency authorization to detain or arrest, without warrant, any person deemed a threat to national security.

The AFPRC's success can be measured by the absence of any open criticism of the regime in most independent newspapers. This atmosphere of intolerance is so pervasive that some journalists, fearing reprisals, refuse to speak publicly about harassment and illegal detention by Gambian security forces.

In response to perceived unfavorable press coverage, the AFPRC continued its pattern of forced repatriation of non-Gambian independent journalists. CPJ and other human rights organizations repeatedly expressed concern but were unable to prevent the deportation of Daily Observer reporter Chernor Ojuku Sesay. Cartoonist Joseph Lahai, also of the Observer, and reporter Ernest Brima of The Point, however, fled into exile to avoid deportation.

The country's two private radio stations are forced to broadcast the censored version of the news that is provided by state-run Radio Gambia. Television broadcasts originate from Senegal as the Gambia has no domestic television service.

In December, under intense international pressure, the Gambia's military rulers promulgated a decree to create an independent electoral commission to return the nation to civilian rule in 1996. It remains to be seen what additional restrictions AFPRC will devise to hamper the role of the media in the electoral process.

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The Gambia

March 31, 1995

Pape Saine, The Point IMPRISONED, HARASSED, LEGAL, ACTION
Badara Sowe, The Point IMPRISONED, HARASSED, LEGAL, ACTION
Ernest Brima, The Point IMPRISONED, HARASSED, LEGAL, ACTION

Police arrested the reporters Sowe and Brima and the publisher, Saine, of the independent biweekly The Point for articles in its March 30 edition about a prison riot. They were held for four days, charged with "publication of false news with intent to cause public fear and alarm"--offenses that carry a two-year prison sentence--and released on bail. On Sept. 27, they were acquitted on the grounds that the prosecution failed to substantiate the accusations. Immediately upon acquittal, Saine's passport was confiscated; it was returned just prior to his departure for Senegal. It is not known whether he will be allowed to return to the Gambia. Brima has been harassed and detained by authorities seeking to deport him back to his home country, Sierra Leone.

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The Gambia

April 3, 1995

Jay Saidy, The Point HARASSED

Associate editor Saidy was arrested on the day his three colleagues from The Point were released (see previous case). He was questioned regarding funds he acquired, allegedly illegally, when he was the press secretary for then-President Sir Dawda Jawara. He was released on bail the next day.

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The Gambia

October 3, 1995

Ernest Brima, The Point EXPELLED

Brima, a reporter with the independent weekly The Point, was pursued by authorities seeking to deport him back to his home country, Sierra Leone, immediately after he was acquitted of charges of "publication of false news with intent to cause public fear and alarm," an offense that carries a two-year prison sentence. He went into hiding for one week, then fled to a neighboring country. With the advocacy of several human rights organizations, including CPJ, the U.S. consulate in the Gambia granted him a visa to the United States, where he is now applying for political asylum.

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The Gambia

October 12, 1995

Chernor Ojuku Sesay, The Daily Observer EXPELLED

Upon arrival in Freetown after being deported from the Gambia, Sesay was arrested by the police and held in the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) for six days. No official reason was given for Sesay's arrest, but it was believed that Sesay was held due to his journalistic work in Sierra Leone prior to fleeing to the Gambia. CPJ spoke to the director of the CID and issued a letter of protest urging Sesay's immediate and unconditional release. He was released less than 24 hours later on bond and without charge.

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Uganda

Year in Review: 1995

Charges of sedition and criminal libel were the most serious threats to press freedom and freedom of expression in 1995. Utilizing these laws, President Yoweri Museveni's National Resistance Movement (NRM) government arrested Shariat editor in chief, Haruna Kanaabi, charging him with sedition for "publishing false news." The Uganda High Court, apparently unable to exercise autonomy, found Kanaabi guilty and sentenced him to 10 years in prison--despite the fact that sedition laws directly contradict Uganda's new constitution and its protection for journalists.

Kanaabi was the first journalist to be convicted for sedition since Museveni assumed power in 1986. CPJ initiated international protests demanding Kanaabi's freedom; his sentence was reduced to five months, and he was released on good behavior after serving four.

NRM assaults on journalists included the mysterious death in police custody of Assalaam editor Musa Njuki, who was arrested on the same day as Kanaabi. To date, the government has not responded to local and international demands for an inquest regarding Njuki's death. Kiwanuka fled into exile before his case was heard in court. The independent press views Kanaabi's conviction and the recent harassment of the media as deliberate attempts to intimidate opposition journalists prior to the April 1996 elections.

For the third time, parliament proposed legislation in 1995 that would impose curbs on journalists. Challenges from the media previously sent the bill back for revisions, but it still includes controversial recommendations, including licensing requirements and the creation of a council, the National Institute of Journalists of Uganda, to oversee media operations. Journalists fear that licenses will be used to restrict press freedom and silence opposition views.

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Uganda

April 13, 1995

Lawrence Kiwanuka, The Citizen IMPRISONED, LEGAL, ACTION

Kiwanuka, the editor in chief of The Citizen, a weekly paper owned by the opposition Democratic Party, was arrested on April 13 and held in Kampala's central police station until April 20, when he was released on bail and charged with two counts of sedition and one count of "publishing false information likely to cause disaffection within the state." He faces seven years in prison if convicted. The arrest was linked to the March 18-March 22 issue of The Citizen, in which the following were published: an open letter from members of the External Security Office (ESO) protesting their work conditions, two interviews with a rebel group, and a story attacking the government's failure to disclose a report on the murder of a former cabinet minister. On May 10, the day after he was to appear in court, Kiwanuka fled to Kenya. After ESO agents in Kenya attempted to abduct him and his family, the Kiwanukas were immediately granted asylum in the United States. He and his two children arrived in the United States on Aug. 22. Kiwanuka's lawyer has petitioned to have his client tried in absentia in order to disprove the charges.

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Uganda

August 25, 1995

Haruna Kanaabi, The Shariat IMPRISONED, LEGAL, ACTION

Kanaabi, the editor in chief of the weekly Muslim newsletter The Shariat, was arrested for publishing an allegedly seditious article on Aug. 18 called "Rwanda is now a Ugandan province." Kanaabi was charged with sedition on Aug. 28. Requests for release on bail due to his ill health were rejected. On Nov. 2, Kanaabi was charged with an additional offense, publishing false news, which, coupled with sedition, would have sent him to jail for 10 years if convicted. CPJ protested the arrest three times. On Dec. 19, the magistrate found Kanaabi guilty of both the charges, and sentenced him to serve five months in Luzira maximum-security prison. Kanaabi was also ordered to pay a fine of US$1,200. The magistrate stated in court that the charges against him were incompatible with the guarantee of freedom of expression provided in the Ugandan constitution. Kanaabi's conviction was the first for a journalist since President Museveni came to power in 1986. On Dec. 27, Kanaabi was released from prison. A Uganda Prisons Service spokesperson said Kanaabi was set free because of his good conduct, although local sources told CPJ that the release was due to international pressure.

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Uganda

August 28, 1995

Hussein Musa Njuki, Assalaam KILLED

Njuki, the editor of the opposition weekly newsletter Assalaam, died in police custody in a hospital. He had been arrested three days earlier and taken to the Criminal Investigations Division. While CPJ has received several different reports regarding Njuki's arrest and death, it is certain that he was taken into custody by a group of plainclothesmen from the Anti-Robbery Squad, an extension of the government's Internal Security Organization (ISO). One source claimed that Njuki had been suffering from a debilitating illness, the effects of which were fatally exacerbated by the shock of the ambush by the ISO squad. Another source reports that Njuki was in perfect health before the arrest and was beaten to death by ISO agents. Yet another report contends that he collapsed during an attempt to escape and died in the hospital of a heart attack. A police guard remained in Njuki's hospital room throughout his stay.

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Zaire

Year in Review: 1995

Despite guarantees for freedom of expression in Zaire's constitution and the 1993 Transition Act, President Mobutu Sese Seko's regime continues to inflict grave human rights abuses on Zairians. Journalists are routinely subjected to threats, beatings, interrogation and detention by agents of Mobutu's Special Presidential Division (DSP) and the Military Action and Intelligence Service (SARM).

In 1995, authorities waged an all-out campaign against the independent press. Journalists were charged with violations of the press laws for writing articles critical of government activities even though, under the civil code, individual editors are not responsible for the content of their newspapers. Harassment of the press escalated, and the lack of recourse or protections for journalists combined with a weak, ineffectual judiciary resulted in widespread self-censorship.

Newspaper circulation is limited to Kinshasa and a few other large cities. Radio is the most effective means of informing citizens living in the countryside because illiteracy, poverty and infrastructure problems preclude access to print media. The state controls the country's radio network and shows little inclination to allow the opposition access to the airwaves.

In December, journalists from both independent and state-owned media called a one-day press blackout and held a mass demonstration to protest a 108-article draft press law that was passed by the transitional parliament. The measure, which forces journalists to reveal their sources upon order by a court of law, must be signed into law by President Mobutu, who is a former journalist. Journalists called for retention of a 1981 press law under which they were not obliged to divulge their sources under any circumstances.

Elections originally scheduled for July 1995 were again postponed for at least two years while Mobutu consolidates power. To date, the opposition seems incapable of presenting a united front, and it may fail to unseat Mobutu in future elections. With a barely functioning economy, institutionalized corruption and near anarchy in most of the country, abuses against the press will continue to go unreported and unprosecuted.

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Zaire

March 9, 1995

Modeste Mutinga, Le Potentiel IMPRISONED

Mutinga, editor of the opposition triweekly Le Potentiel, was arrested by civil guards. No official reason for the arrest was given. Colleagues believe Mutinga's arrest signaled a crackdown on the liberal press. This case remains under investigation.

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Zaire

April

Belmonde Magloire Coffi Missinhoun, Le Point-Zaire IMPRISONED, LEGAL, ACTION
Nestor-Marie Mazangu Mbuilu, Le Point-Zaire IMPRISONED, LEGAL, ACTION

Missinhoun, the editor of the daily Le Point-Zaire, and Mbuilu, the paper's publisher, were charged in early April with "defamation, contempt and making injurious charges." The charges were based on a complaint, filed by the attorney general, his personal assistant and the head of the privately owned airline Shabair, regarding a Jan. 4 article in which the three were implicated in a scandal. Missinhoun and Mbuilu were held in preventive detention for two months until early June, when they were sentenced to an additional seven months in jail. They went on a hunger strike from May 11 to early June to protest their incarceration. They were released in December for good behavior.

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Zaire

May 19, 1995

Mukalayi Mulongo, OZRT IMPRISONED
Kabemba wa Yulu, OZRT IMPRISONED

The program director Mulongo and the radio journalist wa Yulu of the state-owned radio station OZRT in Shaba Province were arrested by Lubumbashi security service officers for granting the Shaba province president of the Union of Independent Republicans (UFERI) party the right to respond to statements made by the national UFERI party president.

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Zaire

June 16, 1995

Essolomwa Nkoy Ea Linganga, Elima HARASSED

Linganga, director general of the opposition newspaper Elima, was arrested at his lawyer's home. Linganga had been pursued by agents of President Mobutu's Special Presidential Division for two days before his arrest for writing an article accusing Mobutu's top generals of corruption. Linganga's lawyer secured his release without charge that night.

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Zaire

September 23, 1995

Albertine Nzumba Mfuili, Elima IMPRISONED

Reporter Mfuili of the opposition newspaper Elima was arrested by civil guards and detained without charge for three days until her family and her paper won her release. Authorities explained that her arrest was due to her failure to carry identification papers.

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Zambia

Year in Review: 1995

Zambian President Frederick Chiluba's Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) government in 1995 reneged on its promises to reform repressive legislation. Instead, it embarked on a deliberate campaign to restrict press freedom. After a promising start, MMD has resorted to the same pattern of government unaccountability to the citizenry that it denounced in its successful campaign only four years ago. The Chiluba government is rapidly becoming one of the worst violators of press freedom in southern Africa.

Using criminal law as a form of censorship to protect the president from unfavorable publicity, the government routinely charges journalists with libel. Independent-minded journalists are being purged from state media. The state's favorite targets in its vendetta against perceived "irresponsible" journalism are still the independent newspaper The Post and its outspoken editor in chief, Fred M'membe. M'membe, a recipient of CPJ's International Press Freedom Award in 1995, and his colleagues are fighting a barrage of sedition and criminal libel suits in Zambia's Supreme Court, where colonial-era laws are being used to enforce the government's case. M'membe faces over 100 years in prison if convicted on all outstanding charges the government has filed against him.

The Post is also facing charges of "defamation of the president" under Section 69 of the penal code, another legacy of colonial rule. The charges result from articles questioning Chiluba's origins, after the enactment of a draft constitution stipulating that only citizens of Zambian parentage are eligible for the presidency. It is widely believed that the draft constitution was enacted to exclude former president Kenneth Kaunda, whose parents were born in Malawi, from the upcoming 1996 elections.

In September, Chiluba rejected a new Bill of Rights recommended by the Constitutional Review Commission that included basic, but not specific, guarantees of press freedom, claiming that extensively defined press freedoms were unacceptable and unnecessary. Independent journalists spoke out against Chiluba's action, pointing to it as unequivocal proof that MMD intends to persist in its efforts to restrict the press. Government attempts to create a mandatory official press union that would be responsible for licensing journalists have been publicly denounced by the independent press.

In March, The Post founded a new offset printing press, Independent Printers Ltd. (IPL), after years of government interference at state-owned Printpak, an older plant. IPL management opened its doors to clients from both the independent and the government-owned press. Licenses were granted to private radio broadcasters during the year, the majority to religious organizations, but the state continues to dominate broadcast media.

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Zambia

June 17, 1995

The Post THREATENED, CENSORED

Supporters of the ruling Movement of Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) in the Copper Belt mining area burned copies of The Post, the country's leading independent daily. MMD party officials threatened violence against anyone selling the paper. They were encouraged by MMD's chairman for the city of Kitwe, Dennis Katilungu, who was quoted in state-owned publications as saying, "I don't care if this will land us in jail." The Post's lawyer, Sakwiba Sikota, told CPJ that he tried to file a formal complaint against Katilungu, but the police were "extremely reluctant to offer any help."

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Zambia

June 19, 1995

Fred M'membe, The Post HARASSED, LEGAL, ACTION
Masautso Phiri, The Post HARASSED, LEGAL, ACTION

Masautso Phiri, The Post

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Zambia

September 22, 1995

Bright Mwape, The Post HARASSED
Goliath Mungonge, The Post HARASSED
Nkonkomalimba Kafunda, The Post HARASSED
Fred M'membe, The Post HARASSED

The Post's managing editor, Mwape, news editor Mungonge and former reporter Kafunda were detained by police for eight hours after the court magistrate ordered their arrest because of the failure of the paper's editor in chief, M'membe, to appear in court. M'membe was in Germany at a political symposium at the time. M'membe and the three journalists are defendants in a defamation case brought against them in 1994 by Richard Sakala, President Chiluba's press secretary. The case had been adjourned 20 times, 19 of them at the instigation of the defense counsel. The magistrate ordered the arrest of M'membe on his return from Germany. The High Court overruled the magistrate's decision to imprison the journalists and deny them bail. M'membe was not arrested upon his return. The case was adjourned until a later date.

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Zambia

October 10, 1995

Gerard Gatare, Rwandan National Television IMPRISONED

Gatare, a former editor at Rwandan National Television, was detained and imprisoned in Kabwata Central Prison in Lusaka. Early in the year, Gatare, fearing for his life, fled to Zambia from a refugee camp outside Rwanda. No charges have been brought against him. His arrest came after a Rwandan government minister visited Zambia, reportedly bringing a list of "wanted" Rwandan intellectuals with him. Gatare is one of at least 16 Rwandan refugees currently imprisoned in Zambia. He had been awarded the 1994-95 Fulbright Hubert Humphrey Fellowship for International Journalists.

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Zambia

December 4, 1995

The Post THREATENED, HARASSED

A group of approximately 20 youths from the ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) stormed the offices of The Post, harassed the editorial staff and threatened to burn the Dec. 3 and Dec. 5 editions of the paper. They also threatened to block future efforts to sell the paper on the streets. The youths were responding to a story published in the Dec. 4 edition headlined "Chiluba Was Born in Zaire, Admits MMD." Police dispersed the group, though no arrests were made. Fred M'membe, The Post's managing director and editor in chief, was in New York receiving CPJ's International Press Freedom Award at the time of the attack.

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Zambia

December 15, 1995

George Jambwa, The Post ATTACKED

Jambwa, a photojournalist with The Post, was assaulted and his camera equipment seized by approximately 100 members of the ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy's (MMD) youth wing. He was trying to gain access to the party's provincial conference in Kafue. Policemen and the minister of commerce attempted to intervene on the photographer's behalf. Police later returned the camera, but the film was removed. Jambwa had taken a picture of Patrick Katyoka, a suspended MMD member of parliament, who was also assaulted by the mob. No arrests were made.

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Zambia

December 18, 1995

Masautso Phiri, The Post ATTACKED

Phiri, editor for special projects at The Post, and his wife were attacked by members of Zambia's ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) party, who accused the journalist of waging a campaign to try to unseat President Frederick Chiluba. The Phiris were driving through the University of Zambia, where a national three-day MMD convention was being held, when MMD delegates surrounded their car and proceeded to punch and kick the Phiris. They managed to escape and report the incident to the police, though no arrests were made. Witnesses and the Phiris said they were able to identify all their attackers, some by name, as members of the MMD. Neither Phiri nor his wife was hospitalized, though both sustained injuries.

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Zimbabwe

Year in Review: 1995

In 1995, President Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) government, determined to restrict freedom of expression, deny access to information and manipulate the electoral process, resorted to tactics honed during the era of one-party rule.

ZANU-PF continues to use laws dating from colonial days to neutralize the independent press. In May, a precedent-setting case in which the government detained and interrogated the management of the independent Financial Gazette, charging the paper with criminal defamation against the president, resulted in the Gazette's revealing its sources for the story in question, the first use of criminal defamation legislation since 1958. Independent journalists throughout the region denounced the Gazette for violating professional ethics and weakening the position of journalists as they fight to work free from state interference.

The judiciary, under pressure from the government, struggled to operate independently while ZANU-PF took the independent press and opposition parties to court, claiming violations of the Official Secrets Act and the Parliamentary Privileges and Immunities Act. Defamation is a civil matter, but it is treated as a criminal offense in Zimbabwe when the offense affects state officials.

During the November parliamentary elections, journalists were denied access to, harassed in and expelled from polling stations. The country's registrar general succeeded in excluding the media by utilizing Section 47 of the Electoral Act, which had not been enforced since independence in 1980.

The state retains control over all broadcast and most print media. Unfortunately journalists, who fear Mugabe's power over the press, offer little resistance to the government's assault on freedom of speech and exercise considerable self-censorship in political coverage.

Sex and sexuality were placed on the national agenda when Mugabe, speaking at an international book fair in Zimbabwe, denounced gays and lesbians and barred them from displaying materials at the event. When it came to his own private life, however, Mugabe was remarkably thin-skinned. When journalists exposed his secret marriage to his former secretary, he denied the marriage ever took place and brought the journalists up on charges.

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Zimbabwe

May 13, 1995

Elias Rusike, Modus Publications IMPRISONED, ATTACKED, , LEGAL, ACTION
Trevor Ncube, Financial Gazette IMPRISONED, ATTACKED, , LEGAL, ACTION
Simba Makunike, Financial Gazette IMPRISONED, ATTACKED, , LEGAL, ACTION
Financial Gazette IMPRISONED, ATTACKED, , LEGAL, ACTION

Early in the morning, police officers from the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) arrested Rusike, managing director of Modus Publications and publisher of the independent weekly Financial Gazette, along with the Gazette's editor Ncube and deputy editor Makunike at their homes. They were then transported to the Gazette offices, which were searched and ransacked, and where documents were seized by the police. They were taken to division headquarters for interrogation until late that evening, then detained until May 15, when the attorney general charged them with criminal defamation. They were released on bail. The charges were brought by Public Construction and Housing Minister Enos Chikowore and High Court Justice Paddington Garwe in response to a story, published in the April 20 Gazette, claiming that President Mugabe and his former secretary, Grace Marufu, had just been secretly married by Garwe, with Chikowore as a witness. The president, minister and judge all publicly denied that the marriage took place, but the Gazette editors stood by their story. CPJ denounced the arrest and charge in a letter to President Mugabe. On July 6, the Gazette published a retraction of the story, admitting that they had been misled by a state intelligence agent. Later that month, under cross-examination in open court, the two editors revealed the sources of the wedding story. On Aug. 9, the three were found guilty of criminal defamation. On Aug. 17, they were sentenced to pay high fines ranging from US$300 to US$720. CPJ again wrote to the president, urging him to revoke the sentences.

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Zimbabwe

July-August

Gay and lesbian publications THREATENED, CENSORED

The Zimbabwean government forbade the public display of homosexual literature and material at the Zimbabwe International Book Fair, which was dedicated to human rights and freedom of expression. And in a series of public addresses during the summer, President Mugabe decried homosexuals, at one point saying their behavior is "worse than dogs' and pigs'," and he threatened to jail any gay-rights activists who demonstrated against his views. The prohibition against displaying gay and lesbian publications coupled with the president's statement clearly indicated that no coverage of gay and lesbian issues would be tolerated in Zimbabwe.

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Zimbabwe

December 19, 1995

All press HARASSED

The country's registrar general, Tobaiwa Mudede, rejected the petition of the Zimbabwe Christian Council (ZCC) to remove all laws restricting journalists from entering polling stations during voting. Mudede stated he would enforce those sections of the colonial Electoral Act despite the Dec. 11 appeal, which followed a ZCC report on the Nov. 25-Nov. 26 parliamentary by-elections in the capital, Harare. The report revealed that journalists were denied access to, harassed in and expelled from polling stations. Mudede countered that the ZCC report was unsubstantiated and that the existing electoral laws were not an infringement on press freedom. This law had not been enforced since independence in 1980.

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