Fall in violations, but freedoms far from consolidated
Niger saw a significant and encouraging fall in press freedom violations in 2019 although there has been little change in the overall environment for the media and journalists. In a regional context marked by the fight against terrorism, visits by journalists to the most dangerous areas are still limited, and it is very hard to get information about terrorism or migration. Both Niger’s authorities and certain international organizations are responsible for the restrictions on the release of information.
In recent years, several journalists have been arrested and media outlets have been suspended in an arbitrary manner. Journalists are sometimes tried and imprisoned under the criminal code instead of being tried under the media law, which has decriminalized media offences. A journalist who is well known both for his professionalism and for criticizing the authorities was sentenced in July 2017 to two years in prison and the withdrawal of all civil and political rights for ten years. Although a citizen of Niger, he was expelled to Mali upon release in 2018. Ten media outlets were closed for several days or weeks in 2018 for non-payment of taxes, although most of the country’s media struggle to survive economically. Little state advertising is placed with the privately-owned media and the government makes little attempt to provide a proper public information service.
66 in 2019
29.26 in 2019