Facebook and opposition websites blocked ahead of elections

Reporters Without Borders condemns the government’s blocking of access to Facebook and certain opposition websites since 12 May. The targets include the site of the main opposition party, Convergence For Social Democracy (CPDS), which is fielding candidates for the 26 May parliamentary and municipal elections. At the same time, the website of the ruling Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE) continues to be fully accessible. “This act of censorship at President Teodoro Obiang Nguema’s behest is disgraceful and constitutes a grave violation of freedom of information,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We condemn this presidential offensive against the democratic process, especially in the immediate run-up to elections.” Agence France-Presse correspondent Samuel Obiang Mbana reported: “Facebook has been deactivated throughout Equatorial Guinea at the request of the president’s office and the government following the announcement of an anti-Obiang demonstration by students and government opponents for 15 May.” Internet cafés in the capital, Malabo, have reported an important fall in turnover in the past two days as result of the blocking of access to online information. President for the past 34 years, Obiang is on the list of “Predators of Freedom of Information” that Reporters Without Borders published on 3 May, while Equatorial Guinea is ranked 166th out of 179 countries in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.
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Updated on 20.01.2016