Ghana leads in violation of free expression in West Africa – Report

Ghana recorded the highest cases of violations against freedom of expression in the West African sub-region between January and April, 2014, according to a report released by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Tuesday.

The report captioned: State of Free Expression Violations in West Africa revealed, violations occurred in eight (8) out of the 16 countries in the region with Ghana leading with eight (8) incidents followed by Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire with four (4) and three (3) incidents respectively.

The Gambia, Liberia, Niger, Togo and Sierra Leone recorded two incidents of violation each. Even though Mali, Guinea and Benin did not record violations in the first four months of 2014, there were incidents of violations in those countries during the same period in 2013.

There were no 4 reports of incidents of violations in Cape Verde, Mauritania, Guinea Bissau, Senegal and Burkina Faso during the two periods. 

During the first four months of 2014, the MFWA recorded a total of 25 incidents of FoE rights violations compared with 36 violations during the same period in 2013. The 2014 figure represents close to 30.5 percent decrease in incidence of violation compared with the same period in 2013.

Analyses of incidents of freedom of expression violations in the 16 countries of West Africa during the first four months of 2014 show a marginal improvement in both the number and severity of violations compared with the same period in 2013.

The improvement in particularly media freedom and media pluralism in the region, can be largely attributed to the relatively stable political atmosphere and the consistent campaign by Freedom of Expression groups like the MFWA. Actions that tend to limit freedom of expression however still exist in West Africa. Story by Ghana | | Jerry Tsatro Mordy | [email protected]

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