10 Most Censored Countries - Equatorial Guinea
|Publisher||Committee to Protect Journalists|
|Publication Date||2 May 2012|
|Cite as||Committee to Protect Journalists, 10 Most Censored Countries - Equatorial Guinea, 2 May 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/502cb01828.html [accessed 13 March 2014]|
5. Equatorial Guinea
Leadership: Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, in power since a 1979 coup
How Censorship Works: Obiang's government tightly controls all news and information over national airwaves. Technically, some outlets are privately owned, but none are independent, as Obiang and his associates exert direct or indirect control. State media do not provide international news coverage unless Obiang or another official travels abroad. Censors enforce rigid rules to ensure the regime is portrayed positively; journalists who don't comply risk prison under criminal statutes including defamation. Security agents closely shadow foreign journalists and restrict photography or filming that documents poverty. The government paid three Washington-based public relations firms a total of US$1.2 million between April and October 2010 to produce positive news about Equatorial Guinea, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Lowlight: At the outbreak of the Arab Spring, the government banned state media from mentioning on air any of the North African or Middle Eastern countries involved. In March 2011, authorities detained and suspended a state radio announcer for a mere reference to a "leader of the Libyan revolution."