Press freedom dependent on politics
RSF registered few press freedom violations in Côte d’Ivoire in 2019 but police attacks on journalists, especially during demonstrations, have continued and testify to the need for more awareness training about journalists’ rights. A new media law that says no grounds are admissible for detaining journalists should put a stop to the provisional detention of journalists, of which there were eight cases in 2017. Although press offences are decriminalized, two journalists were arrested in connection with their work in 2019. Other provisions of the new media law are less progressive: insulting the president is a crime and journalists can be sued for defamation for reporting verified facts if they involve a person’s privacy. Two journalists with an opposition media outlet were heavily fined over an allegedly defamatory article about high-level corruption a few months before the presidential election. The speed with which the case was heard and the disproportionate nature of the fines served as a reminder that press freedom in Côte d’Ivoire depends closely on the political context. Despite the president’s undertakings, no significant progress has been seen in the investigation into the 2004 disappearance of Guy-André Kieffer, a journalist with French and Canadian dual nationality.
71 in 2019
29.52 in 2019