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Bujumbura, August 2016 – Police in Burundi arrested eight people for allegedly circulating defamatory anti-government statements on social media, according to Voice of America. A report by Jill Craig documents a growing list of African governments’ crackdown on social media, “particularly during elections or periods of unrest”.

In Ethiopia, the report says, authorities began periodically shutting down access to social media in the Oromia region in March as a response to ongoing protests. And in July, Ethiopia blocked social media after university entrance exams were leaked online.

Farther south, in Zimbabwe, authorities are said to have used a 2002 law against insulting the president to arrest people it calls “cyberterrorists” for statements made online.

In Angola, the “Angolan Social Communications Regulatory Body,” run by the ruling party, ensures adherence to new media laws, the VOA report says.

In Mali, the authorities are said to have blocked social media in the capital Bamako after the arrest of a radio journalist led to violent protests that reportedly left several people dead.

Uganda, on the other hand, blocked access to social media platforms during its February elections, and then again for the inauguration of president Yoweri Museveni.

http://www.voanews.com/a/social-media-crackdown-new-normal-africa/3479435.html

Lusaka, August, 2016 – A crackdown on the media has left four news outlets in Zambia shuttered. The first one to be closed was the daily newspaper, The Post, in July after the country’s revenue authorities seized its assets over disputed tax arrears. It continues to publish online. Two television stations and one radio station followed suit soon after Zambia’s General Election on allegations of professional misconduct. On August 22, the country’s broadcasting regulators revoked the licences of the privately owned Muvi TV, Komboni Radio and Radio Itezhi Tezhi. African and international Press freedom organizations have called on the government to stop the clampdown.

Moroto, September, 2016 –  Police in Moroto District, North Eastern Uganda summoned freelance journalist Teba Arukol over a Facebook post about Karamajong cultural leaders. who had gone to Kenya to attend a Cultural and Tourism event. The journalist recorded a statement and was released without charge, but he had to submit copies of his passport and national identity card.

Pretoria, August 2016 – A two-day Print Media Transformation Colloquium held at Freedom Park in Pretoria brought together key players in the media industry to consult on the sector’s transformation, accountability and diversity priorities, according to a report by the. Non-Aligned Movement News Network (NNN). Communications Minister Faith Muthambi called the event “the beginning of the journey towards the full transformation of the print media space in South Africa”. The Colloquium focused on the entire value chain in the print media space — from ownership to printing, distribution, research and advertising.

Maseru, August 2016 – A media freedom watch group reported that a continued political crisis in Lesotho had resulted in even greater repression of journalists after the editor of Lesotho Times was left in a critical condition after he was shot by unknown gunmen. The attack came after the publication of a story which referred to an “exit strategy” for the current commander of the Lesotho Defence Force.

Monrovia, August 2016 – The Press Union of Liberia (PUL) is up in arms over what it calls “a grand plan at intimidation, and at worst a tactic to beat the Liberian media into silence” This follows the closure of “several” radio stations reportedly for breaching registration and other regulations. PUL says the government is the media’s biggest debtor, which effectively undermines the ability of news outlets to pay statutory taxes. “By continuously foot dragging in the payment of media bills, the Liberian Government has basically strangulated the media, effectively leaving the press largely unable to pay taxes.,” says PUL. It calls on the government to “forthwith reopen the affected media houses and introduce measures that will ensure individual and institutional respect for and compliance with regulations”.

Nairobi, August 2016 – Between July and August, five journalists in Kenya were either assaulted or harassed by politicians and their supporters, according to the Media Council of Kenya. Condemning the attacks, which he said negated the Constitution, Council boss Haron Mwangi urged “the National Police Service and the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to undertake speedy investigation and prefer charges against perpetrators of such violence against journalists”. Kenya is preparing for a General Election scheduled for August next year.

Bujumbura, August 2016 – Police in Burundi last arrested eight people for allegedly circulating defamatory anti-government statements on social media, according to Voice of America. A report by Jill Craig documents a growing list of African governments’ crackdown on social media, “particularly during elections or periods of unrest”.

In Ethiopia, the report says, authorities began periodically shutting down access to social media in the Oromia region in March as a response to ongoing protests. And in July, Ethiopia blocked social media after university entrance exams were leaked online.

Farther south, in Zimbabwe, authorities are said to have used a 2002 law against insulting the president to arrest people it calls “cyberterrorists” for statements made online.

In Angola, the “Angolan Social Communications Regulatory Body,” run by the ruling party, ensures adherence to new media laws, the VOA report says.

In Mali, the authorities are said to have blocked social media in the capital Bamako after the arrest of a radio journalist led to violent protests that reportedly left several people dead.

Uganda, on the other hand, blocked access to social media platforms during its February elections, and then again for the inauguration of president Yoweri Museveni.

http://www.voanews.com/a/social-media-crackdown-new-normal-africa/3479435.html

Lusaka, August, 2016 – A crackdown on the media has left four news outlets in Zambia shuttered. The first one to be closed was the daily newspaper, The Post, in July after the country’s revenue authorities seized its assets over disputed tax arrears. It continues to publish online. Two television stations and one radio station followed suit, soon after Zambia’s General Election, on allegations of professional misconduct. On August 22, the country’s broadcasting regulators revoked the licences of the privately owned Muvi TV, Komboni Radio and Radio Itezhi Tezhi. African and international Press freedom organizations have called on the government to stop the clampdown.

Moroto, September, 2016 –  Police in Moroto District, North Eastern Uganda summoned freelance journalist Teba Arukol over a Facebook post about Karamajong cultural leaders. who had gone to Kenya to attend a Cultural and Tourism event. The journalist recorded a statement and was released without charge, but he had to submit copies of his passport and national identity card.

Pretoria, August 2016 – A two-day Print Media Transformation Colloquium held at Freedom Park in Pretoria brought together key players in the media industry to consult on the sector’s transformation, accountability and diversity priorities, according to a report by the. Non-Aligned Movement News Network (NNN). Communications Minister Faith Muthambi called the event “the beginning of the journey towards the full transformation of the print media space in South Africa”. The Colloquium focused on the entire value chain in the print media space — from ownership to printing, distribution, research and advertising.

Maseru, August 2016 – A media freedom watch group reported that a continued political crisis in Lesotho had resulted in even greater repression of journalists after the editor of Lesotho Times was left in a critical condition after he was shot by unknown gunmen. The attack came after the publication of a story which referred to an “exit strategy” for the current commander of the Lesotho Defence Force.

Monrovia, August 2016 – The Press Union of Liberia (PUL) is up in arms over what it calls “a grand plan at intimidation, and at worst a tactic to beat the Liberian media into silence” This follows the closure of “several” radio stations reportedly for breaching registration and other regulations. PUL says the government is the media’s biggest debtor, which effectively undermines the ability of news outlets to pay statutory taxes. “By continuously foot dragging in the payment of media bills, the Liberian Government has basically strangulated the media, effectively leaving the press largely unable to pay taxes.,” says PUL. It calls on the government to “forthwith reopen the affected media houses and introduce measures that will ensure individual and institutional respect for and compliance with regulations”.

Nairobi, September 2016 — Kenyan journalists are standing in solidarity against threats to their safety. Recently, a Mombasa-based reporter with the Standard Group, the country’s oldest media establishment, died mysteriously shortly after a meeting with a political news source. A few days later, security guards at a plantation in Central Kenya set upon two journalists on a routine assignment, and left them for dead. Journalists’ and media associations are now calling for the arrest and prosecution of the Kakuzi Ltd. guards and thorough investigations into the circumstances that led to the death of the Standard journalist, Masha. They have planned street demonstrations to bring the public’s attention to threats to the industry and are also planning to tag all members of parliament, senators, governors, cabinet secretaries, principal secretaries, directors and key persons on the hash tag #JournalistsUnderSiege