Port of Libreville, Gabon.  Editorial credit: Anton_Ivanov / Shutterstock.com

Gabon

Although Gabon holds multiparty elections, President Ali Bongo Ondimba maintains political dominance through a combination of patronage and repression, having succeeded his father when he died in 2009 after more than 40 years in power. The executive branch effectively controls the judiciary, and prisoners suffer from harsh conditions. Other significant problems include discrimination against African immigrants, marginalization of indigenous people, and legal and de facto inequality for women.

An opposition demonstrator plays the violin during a protest against President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas. Credit: FEDERICO PARRA/AFP/Getty Images.

Freedom in the World — Gabon Country Report

Gabon is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World, Freedom House's annual study of political rights and civil liberties worldwide.