CIVICUS has recently added Tanzania, Kenya and Angola to the watch list on the CIVICUS monitor due to ongoing attacks led by authorities on protesters, critics, NGOs and the media. They all join Turkey and Venezuela who both remain on the Watch List.
The CIVICUS Watch List aims to underline and highlight countries of the most concern regarding serious and ongoing attacks on citizens’ most basic freedoms within those countries. These basic freedoms include the freedom of association, peaceful assembly and expression. CIVICUS rates each country on the monitor regarding their openness of civic space and places them into one of the five following categories – Open, Narrowed, Obstructed, Repressed & Closed. Any countries with any rating can appear on the CIVICUS Watch List.
Two countries added to the list – Kenya and Angola – both have upcoming elections which has put pressure on civil society. Kenya’s politicians and security forces have threatened human rights defenders, have sought to impose unfair restrictions on NGO work and have undermined media freedoms. Angola’s authorities have used force against peaceful protestors whilst also increasing pressure on the media.
Tanzania’s authorities have recently attacked the media, civil society and the LGBTI community. Most recently they have suspended daily newspaper Mawio under the Media Services Act of 2016 for mentioning a scandal describing two former presidents who were involved in corrupt practices in the mining of minerals. Tanzanian Prime Minister – John Magufuli – recently warned the country’s media to “be careful.”
The Watch list serves as a reminder and tool to be aimed at influencing media, policy makers, staff from international civil society organisations and officials in intergovernmental bodies to mobilise and act to address the ongoing concerns to civic space represented by these countries.
This post has summarised an original article written by the CIVICUS Media team and can be found at: http://civicus.org/index.php/media-resources/media-releases/2900-tanzania-kenya-angola-join-watch-list-of-countries-of-concern0