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The authorities regularly invoke criminal and civil libel laws to harass and intimidate journalists. Internet access is not restricted, but poor infrastructure and high costs limit usage.

The penal code seeks to restrict the dissemination of ‘obscenity’. A journalist was detained in September 2016 for republishing a story on the President of Equatorial Guinea and the Deputy Post and Telecommunications Minister, Zotawon Titus, ‘reminded’ internet stakeholders that internet freedom is not a license for profanity and fomenting chaos in the country.

This could be taken as signifying a move towards oppression. The government has also imposed SIM card registrations.

Internet penetration is around 8%, and mobile penetration is 84%. Infrastructure is quite poor, but has slowly been improving thanks in part to the laying down of the first fibre optic cable in the country.

Recommendations Received, Cycle 2

Bring its legal and policy framework in line with its international obligations, including the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, by repealing all laws and policies that restrict the rights and activities of human rights defenders, including defamation and libel laws

Recommending State: Netherlands

Earlier Event: January 1
Later Event: May 1