In a dramatic violation of press freedom in the country, the government in September shut down all the nation's independent newspapers, banned all non-state print media, and arrested nine reporters. Three others went missing, and the whereabouts of most could not be traced. The six weekly publications that were banned could reopen, an official said, "once they learn to abide by Eritrean press laws." A 1997 press law allows only limited freedom of expression, subject to the official interpretation of "the objective reality of Eritrea." The government uses the libel law to intimidate journalists. The dissemination of dissenting views is not tolerated.