Pervasive Culture of Impunity in Africa: 95% of Freedom of Expression Violations Left Unpunished

Over 95% Freedom of Expression (FOE) violations recorded in 19 countries in Africa have been left unaddressed by authorities in Africa according, to the FOE Situation in Africa Report for 2017 produced by the African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX).

From July to December 2017, the report recorded a total of 98 FOE-related violations with nine (9) incidents of killings. While only 5% of the total violations have been redressed, no arrest or redress has been recorded for all incidents of killings – which remain the grievous type of violation recorded. Sadly, the incidents of killings claimed which claimed 30 lives protesters in Cameroon (12) DRC (7), Togo (6) Nigeria (3), Somalia (1) and South Sudan (1).

Security agents were responsible for 65 of the violations recorded while State officials and individuals were responsible for 14 and 12 violations respectively.

Altogether, 103 victims were directly affected by the 98 violations. Nearly 90% (92 of the 103) victims were journalists and media workers, activists and ordinary citizens. The remaining violations targeted media organisations.

AFEX is deeply concerned about the increasing level of impunity for crimes against journalists, human rights defenders and citizens as this remains one of the major challenges affecting the enjoyment of freedom of expression rights in Africa. We urge state and non-state actors to urgently adopt concrete measures to ensure that perpetrators of FOE violations are punished according to the law.

Kindly click here to access the full AFEX FOE Situation in Africa Report for July-December 2017