By Aderemi Ojekunle
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Morocco, Tanzania and beyond, governments have roll out legislation and policies which enforce privacy violations, infringements to freedom of expression, access restrictions and hurt other digital rights.
Many African governments have rolled out legislation and policies which enforce privacy violations, infringements to freedom of expression, access restrictions and hurt other digital rights, a report has revealed.
The 2018 edition of the Digital Rights in Africa report by Paradigm Initiative was released at the Internet Governance Forum in Paris on Tuesday, November 13.
The report titled “Legislating Restriction: How African Governments Use Restrictive Laws,” is the third edition of the Digit al Rights in Africa report.
This report highlights 8 countries across North, East, West and Central Africa where critical developments in the legal or policy space have conspired to hurt digital rights. These countries are Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, and Benin. Others are Uganda, Tanzania, Cameroon, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The report also bemoans the role certain actions of China, Russia and the United States have impacted on rights in other rights in African countries.
According to the report, “The surprise withdrawal of the United States from the United Nations Human Rights Council is another stark symptom of the strange times we are in… Beyond the United Nations Human Rights Council, the United States has lost some of its moral authority as an arbiter and defender of global human rights as a result of happenings within its own borders. These developments have emboldened hitherto repressive, but hesitant, state actors into acts that brazenly attempt to restrict human rights online and offline.”
“The increasing influence of China and Russia in global affairs is definitely changing perceptions about the thresholds of what is acceptable or not in human rights standards. Even more so, it would seem many African countries have begun to borrow a leaf from repressive foreign governments’ playbooks for violating digital rights,” the report continued.