African heads of state recently gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, for the 24th summit of the African Union. While discussions focused on high-profile continental crises such as the Boko Haram insurgency and the Ebola epidemic, an important phenomenon was, unsurprisingly, left off the agenda: the deteriorating situation for political and civil liberties in much of East Africa.
A Burundi court’s decision to sentence a journalist to life in prison on terrorism charges for simply interviewing an alleged terrorist shows a flagrant disregard for press freedom and sets a dangerous precedent in a country already hostile toward the media.
Freedom House released an analysis of democracy in sub-Saharan Africa showing that the region has experienced notable increases in freedom over the past generation, although more setbacks than gains were seen in 2006.
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