Freedom of the Press

Congo, Republic of (Brazzaville)

Congo, Republic of (Brazzaville)

Freedom of the Press 2003

2003 Scores

Press Status

Partly Free

Press Freedom Score
(0 = best, 100 = worst)

55

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

20

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

17

The constitution adopted in January guarantees the basic right of press freedom, and the government generally respects this provision in practice. An August 2001 amendment to the 1996 press law abolished mandatory jail sentences for defamation, although it is still possible to face prison time in cases of "incitement to violence, racism and unrest," according to Reporters Sans Frontieres. About 10 private newspapers appear weekly in Brazzaville, and they often published articles and editorials that are critical of the government. However, the government continues to monopolize the broadcast media, where coverage reflects official priorities and views. Reporters are occasionally subject to threats and intimidation at the hands of authorities. In July, a senior police official allegedly threatened a journalist during an interrogation session.