Nigeria and DRC continue to have some of the highest number of press freedom threats and violations in Africa, according to IPI’s monitoring data for the month of February. This has been noted in previous IPI press freedom monitoring reports in the region, including in our November and December 2022 factsheets.
A total of 61 press freedom violations were recorded across 11 countries in the region, according to IPI’s data for February 2023, with state actors once again involved in a vast majority of incidents.
In Nigeria, the attacks on journalists escalated during the presidential and legislative elections. In response to these developments, IPI called on the incoming government to improve journalist safety and to prioritize press freedom as one of the key pillars for democratic gains and consolidation of the rule of law. As a first step, IPI urged president-elect Bola Tinubu’s new administration to ensure that these attacks on journalists are investigated and those responsible are held to account.
In DRC, IPI documented at least 10 press freedom threats or violations that included incidents of suspension of media outlets, arrest, and detention as well as physical attacks on journalists.
Journalist Ola Bebe was also murdered in Yaounde, Cameroon, and at the time of this publication, no investigations had been launched into his matter. This also followed yet another murder in January 2023 in Cameroon of journalist Martinez Zogo.
IPI monitors and collects data on press freedom violations in Africa using a standardized methodology that categorizes violations across the following main categories: physical, verbal or online attacks; arrests and charges against journalists; surveillance of journalists; cases of censorship; laws and regulations that restrict the press freedom; and restriction on access to information. Data are further disaggregated by gender. Our monitoring and data collection activities are part of IPI’s wider Africa programme, which aims to defend press freedom and the safety of journalists in sub-Saharan Africa.