Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea

Total control of the media

Tight control of the media and prior censorship are the norm under President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, who has held sway in Equatorial Guinea for the past 40 years and was re-elected for a fifth seven-year term in April 2016. Under his authoritarian rule, it is impossible to criticize the president and the security forces. The news coverage provided by the few media outlets is closely controlled and none of them is really independent. Coverage of the Arab spring, the fighting in Mali and Syria and the fall of Burkina Faso’s President Blaise Compaoré was completely banned. Journalists can be fired and detained, their programmes can be suspended and their equipment can be confiscated. Self-censorship often replaces reporting. The few journalists who try to do independent reporting are regarded as subversives and as the regime’s enemies. Visits to Equatorial Guinea by foreign reporters are heavily restricted. Two journalists spent several days in prison in 2019 just for publishing an interview, and have yet to recover their former positions since their release. The TV channel they worked for is owned by Teodorín Obiang, the president’s son and current vice-president. Ramón Esono Ebalé, a well-known cartoonist who sometimes dared to satirize the president, spent nearly six months in prison after being arrested on trumped-up charges in September 2017.

in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index



165 in 2020

Global score


56.38 in 2020


  • 0
    journalists killed in 2022
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2022
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2022
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