Freedom of the Press - Congo, Republic of (Brazzaville) (2002)

Status: Partly Free
Legal Environment: 18
Political Influences: 18
Economic Pressures: 17
Total Score: 53

Population: n/a
GNI/capita: n/a
Life Expectancy: 50
Religious Groups: n/a
Ethnic Groups: Kongo (48 percent), Sangha (20 percent), Teke (17 percent), M'Bochi (12 percent), other (3 percent)
Capital: Brazzaville

The constitution adopted in September by the provisional parliament significantly improved the status of the news media and journalists by guaranteeing the basic right of press freedom. As the result of an amendment passed in August, the 1996 Press Law no longer requires prison terms for those convicted of defamation. The government generally respects press freedom, but continued to monopolize the broadcast media. Some 10 private newspapers that appear weekly in the capital occasionally carry articles or letters that criticize the government. One weekly, Le Flambeau, was suspended and the editor detained for allegedly causing confusion about state institutions.

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