Seychelles | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press

Seychelles

Seychelles

Freedom of the Press 2005

2005 Scores

Press Status

Partly Free

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

58

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

19

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

18

The constitution provides for freedom of speech but also restricts this right by protecting the reputation, rights, and privacy of citizens, as well as the "interest of defense, public safety, public order, public morality, or public health." The government owns the country's only daily newspaper, The Nation. The only significant opposition newspaper, the weekly Regar, has been repeatedly brought to court on libel charges, which carry steep monetary penalties. In October, the Supreme Court ordered Regar not to publish an internal letter written by three judges, an order that Regar editor Roger Mancienne refused to obey. As a result, the newspaper was fined heavily during a court hearing presided over by one of the authors of the contested letter. The Paris-based watchdog Reporters sans frontieres, which had earlier named Seychelles as one of a group of "paradise dictatorships" that regularly violate press freedoms, condemned this ruling. Although the private press continues to criticize the government, such harsh legal penalties and libel laws promote self-censorship. The state retains a virtual monopoly over the widely consumed broadcast media, whose coverage adheres closely to official policy positions. High licensing fees have discouraged the development of privately owned broadcast media, and telecommunications companies must submit subscriber information to the government. The Internet is available and unrestricted in Seychelles.