Sierra Leone has been ranked 3rd in the table of repression of citizens, recording 7 violations, following violent crackdown on protesters, internet shutdown and curfews last year.

According to the MFWA’s Freedom of Expression, Monitor, out of the 46 violations, Guinea recorded 18v violations to top the table of repression, followed by Nigeria (10 violations). Sierra Leone and Ghana recorded 7 and 4 violations respectively. Senegal, Liberia, and The Gambia recorded 2 violations each, while Burkina Faso recorded a single violation for this quarter.

The monitor also reveals that West Africa experienced a decline in freedom of expression in the third quarter of 2022 as violations rose by 9% during the period compared to the previous quarter.

The MFWA’s Freedom of Expression Monitor revealed that forty-six (46) violations affecting a total number of 254 victims were recorded in eight (8) countries between July and September 2022. The figure for the second quarter of 2022 stood at 42.

The quarter saw a relentless assault on the rights to freedom of assembly. The authorities in Guinea banned outright all street protests and processions. At least 8 protesters died in the country during deadly repressions against defiant demonstrators opposed to the military government’s decision to stay in power for three years. In Sierra Leone, a violent crackdown on protests left at least 27 people dead and more than a hundred arrested, amidst an internet shutdown and a curfew. Student protesters in Liberia were brutalized.

About 40 journalists were victims of violations during this quarter. Eleven of them were arrested during peaceful demonstrations at the premises of their media outlet in Senegal, while at least 6 of them were victims of physical attacks during protests in Guinea.

The report also highlights other key freedom of expression developments in West Africa, including redress for violations and recommendations to key stakeholders