African Media Barometer Congo Brazzaville

In Congo, the law guarantees freedom of expression and the effective exercise of this freedom. However, there exists a gap between what is legislated on paper and what is effectively practised. The Congolese people are afraid to speak freely and are very careful about what they say in public. Public authorities are often quick to invoke the protection of public order as a pretext to stifle this freedom, which is most often suppressed during electoral periods when tensions are running high. It is virtually impossible to organise public demonstrations unless they are in favor of the government and journalists who criticise the regime are often harassed. Certain topics, such as national security, mining, oil contracts, forest management, logging, etc are considered sensitive and journalists who have the temerity to speak about them often face reprisals. While some say they have received threats on the phone, others have been forced to relocate to escape possible attacks. In such cases, relocating is challenging as landlords are sometimes reluctant to have journalists as tenants, as this could land them in trouble.

In Congo, the law gives public authorities the right to restrict freedoms. Public authorities simply have to invoke the need to safeguard public order, ensure a public service, promote peace and national culture or protect state or defence secrets, classified information, national sovereignty, etc. These are normal legal concepts, but unfortunately, they can be and often are misused. Journalists have a certain degree of protection in that the head of state has set a decree to forbid the current administration from prosecuting them for activities related to their work. This is a de-facto decriminalisation of offences by the press, but which still effectively depends on the whims of the head of state.


No items found

fesmedia Africa

95 John Meinert Street
P.O. Box 23652
Windhoek, Namibia


African Media Barometer

African Media Barometer

Our flagship African Media Barometer provides a home grown analysis of the health of the media landscape across 31 countries in Africa. More



fesmedia Africa has teamed up with international experts to develop online courses to support Access to Information in Africa. More