Attacks on the Press in 1997 - Gabon
|Publisher||Committee to Protect Journalists|
|Publication Date||February 1998|
|Cite as||Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 1997 - Gabon, February 1998, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/47c5653522.html [accessed 18 December 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
The October elections consolidated the Democratic Party of Gabon's grip on power and virtually eliminated all opposition parties from participation in government. A new constitution revised the already existing National Communication Council, which in the past had both elected and appointed members. It will now be comprised solely of appointees.
Despite moves by the government toward press freedoms in recent years, such as a constitution that provides for freedom of speech and the press, President Omar Albert-Bernard Bongo's administration has made no public commitment to encouraging and safeguarding an independent press. A press code, adopted in 1993, requires newspapers to register with the Minister of Communication and with the Minister of Commerce and allows for the suspension of a newspaper for up to three months for publishing material offensive to the government. There are currently seven independent newspapers and five private radio stations. The government controls the national electronic media, which reach all areas of the country.