New press code provides custodial sentences for press offences

New press code provides custodial sentences for press offences

31 Dec 2018, by Kez@ClosingSpaces in CS Database

Incidents & Issues

The new Press Code, adopted by the National Assembly in June, was vaguely worded and provided for custodial sentences for press offences. It allowed the Ministers of Interior and of Communication to ban foreign newspapers and periodicals, and provided for prison terms and fines for anyone defying the ban. Article 192 empowered administrative authorities to order the seizure of property used to publish or broadcast information, to suspend or stop a television or radio programme, and to provisionally close a media outlet on national security or territorial integrity grounds, among other things. It provided for prison sentences for offences including “offending” the head of state, defamation, insults, the transmission or distribution of images contrary to morality, and spreading false news. It criminalized various techniques used by whistleblowers, for which prison terms would be imposed. Article 227 allowed for restriction of access to online content deemed to be “contrary to morality”, to “degrade honour” or to be “patently unlawful”, in certain cases.

Details of Occurrence

Country of OccurrenceSenegal
Date of Occurrence20 Jun 2017
Security Agents InvolvedThe national assembly
Rights ImplicatedRight to free press and expression


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