New press code doesn’t decriminalize press offences

Regarded as one of Africa’s most stable democracies, Senegal enjoys a diverse media landscape, the 2001 constitution guarantees the freedom to inform, and abuses against journalists have been relatively infrequent in recent years. But some subjects continue to be off limits and the staff of several media outlets have been summoned and subjected to intimidation for covering corruption. Radio stations that interview government critics may be harassed and their journalists convicted of defamation, but this is relatively rare. After several years of discussion, a new press code was adopted 2017 but the required implementation decrees have yet to be signed. Two bills were nonetheless submitted to the cabinet in early 2021. The new code disappointed journalists because it failed to decriminalise press offences and because it provides for the confiscation of equipment and material and even the closure of media outlets for threats to state security. Press freedom violations, some of them by the security forces, were registered in 2020. Certain stories with a religious link can still be taboo. The headquarters of the newspaper Les Echos were ransacked after it reported that a Muslim religious leader had caught Covid-19.

in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index



47 in 2020

Global score


23.99 in 2020

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2021
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2021
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2021
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