See also:
» 28.03.2011 - Fear of post-election violence in Benin
» 15.03.2011 - Benin opposition denounces election fraud
» 05.03.2011 - Benin protesters won demanded vote delay
» 20.02.2008 - Benin let-go CAR rebel leaders
» 01.06.2006 - Benin opts to maintain death sentences
» 12.07.2005 - Benin President to retire next year
» 15.11.2004 - Female mutilation Benin's main human rights problem
» 21.10.2003 - SA, Benin best, Eritrea worst on press freedom

China wholesale online through

Houlihan's coupons

Finn autentiske matoppskrifter fra hele verden pĺ
Gazpacho Břrek Kartoffelsalat Taboulé Gulasj Albóndigas Cevapi Rougaille Japrak sarma Zwiebelbrot Klopse Giouvetsi Paella Pljeskavica Pica pau Pulpo a la gallega Flammkuchen Langosj Tapenade Chatsjapuri Pasulj Lassi Kartoffelpuffer Tortilla Raznjici Knödel Lentejas Bśuf bourguignon Korianderchutney Brenneslesuppe Proia Sćbsi kavurma Sardinske calamares

Autentiske matoppskrifter fra hele verden finner du pĺ
Réunion Portugal Aserbajdsjan Serbia Tyskland Seychellene Bosnia Spania Libanon Belgia India Kroatia Hellas Italia Ungarn Komorene Georgia Mauritius Řsterrike Romania Frankrike

Politics | Human rights | Media

"Public debate in Benin being silenced"

afrol News, 24 June - Several media and civil society organisations in Benin have been forced to dance to government's tune, abandoning their role in democracy in fear of censorship and losing government contracts worth several millions of CFA francs, human rights activists are complaining. Benin has until recently been known as the African country most respecting press freedom.

Most of Benin's 38 daily newspapers, 73 radio stations and five television stations - which were in the past two years committed to relay news against bad remuneration practices and government actions, especially public media - have now become less critical, since they got related to government contracts that bring in millions of cash to their operations, according to the criticism.

This follows a pro all-round communication policy, which was apparently destructive to objective information and diverse media. "Censorship and self-censorship are the rule," recognise, under anonymity, several journalists, who were questioned by human rights activists. They allude to cases of violation of freedom of expression, citing recent evictions of journalists deemed critical of government.

During the last presidential term of Mathieu Kérékou, Benin was increasingly praised as one of the most democratic states in Africa. The Paris-based media watchdog Reporters sans Frontičres (RSF) during several years listed Benin along with South Africa as the continent's only countries without press freedom problems worthwhile mentioning. Signs are, this may be changing.

Benin's media are however not the only victims. Critics show that while some civil society organisations continue to advocate for peace and good governance in Benin, most of them, like consumer associations, have lost the vitality they initially had. Even attitudes among academics, are said to refrain from criticising current administration of President Yayi Boni.

According to Benin's human rights bodies, the executive wants to control all other powers, be it legislative, judicial, or editorial independence, so as to continue to be source of all abuses.

Before April 2006, organisations such as Elan, Transparency International (TI) Benin, the League for Consumer Protection and others were said to be present in lively public debate, such as denouncing corruption, fighting against attempts of opportunistic revision of Constitution as well as campaigning for successful organisation of 2006 presidential election.

"This had helped ensure peaceful alternation in power, to guarantee freedom of opinion and forge a credible public opinion," a report on the issue stated.

Furthermore, the democratic issues before April 2006 were reportedly more important, thus justifying a greater commitment on media part. However, convener of NGO Centre Obotha Africa, Rufin Godjo said, "it is time for civil society to speak, otherwise we will go into the wall."

Civil society organisations "have been taken by surprise by current regime, which has recovered their themes, including fight against corruption," socio-anthropologist Denis Amoussou-Yéyé added.

Since inauguration, President Boni is said to have unilaterally dismissed executives no towing the line, while at the same time building his own "puppeteering stage". However, for senior government officials, President Boni is seen different and almost idolised.

"He managed to increase tax revenues of state and recover a large part of public debts. Economic growth rose from 3.5 percent before April 2006 to 5 percent now," recently said Minister in charge of Development, Pascal Koukpaki. One visible sign of this good economic health is said to be launching of public works and infrastructure rehabilitation, including roads, hotels and airports, to mention but a few.

- Create an e-mail alert for Benin news
- Create an e-mail alert for Politics news
- Create an e-mail alert for Human rights news
- Create an e-mail alert for Media news

    Printable version

On the Afrol News front page now

Rwanda succeeds including citizens in formal financial sector

afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.

Famine warning: "South Sudan is imploding"

afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
Panic in West Africa after Ebola outbreak in Guinea

afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
Ethiopia tightens its already strict anti-gay laws

afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
Ethiopia plans Africa's biggest dam

afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.

front page | news | countries | archive | currencies | news alerts login | about afrol News | contact | advertise | español 

©  afrol News. Reproducing or buying afrol News' articles.

   You can contact us at