Home » Reporters Without Borders warns of growing press censorship and repression threat in Niger

Reporters Without Borders warns of growing press censorship and repression threat in Niger

by Derek Andrews
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Reporters With out Borders (RSF) warned on Wednesday about the potential of Nigerien authorities utilizing the nation’s revised cybercrime legislation to censor and imprison journalists. New amendments to the legislation reintroduced jail sentences for defamation, insults, and dissemination of knowledge that would disrupt public order through the Web.

On June 7, 2024, the pinnacle of Niger’s army junta, Basic Abdourahamane Tiani, signed an ordinance amending the nation’s 2019 cybercrime legislation. The Ministry of Justice said that the ordinance aimed to “strike a steadiness between freedom of expression, safety of particular person rights, and public security.” Article 29 of the modified legislation punishes an individual responsible of defamation or insult by digital communication for a jail sentence between one to a few years. RSF underlined that Article 31, after modification, emerged as a difficulty of significance to journalists because it criminalizes dissemination of knowledge that would “disturb public order or undermine human dignity.”

On July 26, 2023, Niger’s army junta, the Nationwide Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland, seized control of the nation from democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum. Since then, freedom of expression in Niger has been in jeopardy. In a statement launched in October 2023, human rights group Amnesty Worldwide reported a crackdown on media beneath the brand new regime, placing freedom of the press in danger. The report highlighted elevated intimidation confronted by journalists, together with threats of violence and surveillance from each authorities authorities and civilians. Media in Niger has been subjected to suspension with out cause.

Distinguished Nigerien journalist and blogger Samira Sabou was kidnapped in September 2023 and held for eight days with out her whereabouts being identified. She had beforehand been imprisoned in June 2020 on cybercrime prices after posting about an audit of Niger’s army on Fb. Moreover, authorities in Niger blocked French public broadcasters Radio France Internationale (RFI) and France 24 earlier that yr.

Article 30 of the Constitution of Niger ensures freedom of expression and opinion.

Source / Picture: jurist.org

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